After waiting nearly four months for her new smart card ID, Sandra, 38, of Athlone is now the proud owner of her first identity document.
Sandra contacted the Daily Voice two weeks ago, desperate to get her new smart card before she starts writing her matric examinations.
Sandra suffers from a rare skin disease, which has robbed her of her fingerprints, skin and hair – and then, almost, her education.
She was only two weeks old when doctors diagnosed her with Epidermolysis bullosa dystrophica – a disease which leaves the vel fragile and blistering easily.
In severe cases like Sandra’s, the patient has no epidermis or outer skin, resulting in non-existent fingerprints and baldness.
Sandra is being treated at Groote Schuur Hospital.
She says Home Affairs could not issue her a new ID as they couldn’t find her fingerprints on the system.
She had informed them of her rare disease and even got an affidavit from police.
Sandra says it was only after the Daily Voice published her story that officials contacted her and fast-tracked her ID, which she needed to do her matric exams.
Last week, Sam Plaatjies of the Department of Home Affairs emailed Sandra and the Daily Voice to inform her she would be receiving her new card: “I hereby wish to confirm that your ID smart card was today (25 May) sent for printing and will be shortly dispatched to the Office of Application.”
Yesterday, Sandra proudly showed off her new ID, which she received on Friday.
“I feel happy that this heavy load is off my shoulders,”’ she says. “I want to thank the Daily Voice for helping me; in less than two weeks I got my smart card ID.
“I hope others will also learn to step up and seek help, and put their pride in their pocket, no matter what people say.”