Government is looking to add a third gender to IDs to recognise those who identify as other than male and female.
The Department of Home Affairs has published a draft Official Identity Management Policy (OIMP) that seeks to update and amend the country’s identity laws after 20 years, reports the Weekend Argus.
The proposals range from amending outdated legislation and strengthening controls to guard against identity theft as well as recognising other sex/gender categories.
Currently both the Identification and Births and Deaths Registration Act do not cater for children who are born intersex.
The draft policy proposes:
- The population register must make a provision that enables the establishment of a category that is neither male nor female.
- The sex category must cater for transgender that will enable updates of sex information in the population register.
- Issuing a random unique identity number that is not linked to or founded on a person’s sex, date of birth, place of birth or any other marker.
- That the new legislation and National Identity System must enable the registration of births for intersex children.
Siya Hlongwa, a transgender woman and director of Be True 2 Me, says: “Currently the lack of inclusive gender indicators make the gender diverse community subject to systemic exclusion and scrutiny.
“In the work environment, many are forced to declare and present a gender they no longer identify with.
“Menial tasks like grocery shopping or boarding a plane can be a challenge for gender diverse persons as they can present in different ways which can lead to suspicion of irregular or criminal activity unnecessarily.”