Chapter 2



2.8.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • National Education Policy Act (No. 27 of 1996) [NEPA]
  • The South African Schools Act, 1996 (No.27 of 1996) [SASA]
  • Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 [POPI]



  • In complying with the decision of the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) and for the sake of an effective Learner Unit Record Information Tracking System (LURITS), the FSDoE will make the learner ID numbers a mandatory field on SA-SAMS with effect from the beginning of the first term in January 2014. The main challenge, however, will be the learners without ID numbers.  With regard to the ID numbers of learners in the Free State Province, principals are referred to Circular MG 38/2013 [Reference B2 38/2013]

2.8.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Identity Documents

  1. Admission of learners and identity documents
    • The principal of a public school must keep a register of admission to the school. All admissions of learners to the school must be recorded in the register of admission. The register must contain the name, date of birth, age, identity number, if applicable, and address of the learner as well as the names of the learner’s parents as defined in the South African Schools Act, 1996 and their addresses and telephone numbers, where applicable.
    • Entries in the register of admission must be verified against the birth certificate or identity document of the learner concerned. The admission ages are as follows:
      • Grade R: age four turning five by 30 June in the year of admission (the latest age is the year in which the child turns 6);
      • Grade 1: age five turning six by 30 June in the year of admission (the latest age is the year in which the child turns 7).
  2. Principals of secondary and special schools should make a point of informing learners that:
    • From the age of 16 years, it is compulsory for the children of citizens of this country to obtain an identity document; and
    • It is necessary for Grade 12 learners to furnish their identity numbers when they register for the final examination at the end of Grade 12.
  3. Principals, in collaboration with regional offices of the Department of Home Affairs and/or the representatives of the Department of Home Affairs located at the premises of local authorities, can arrange the matters mentioned below:
    • The school concerned can supply the necessary application forms for an identity document to learners who turn 16 (and learners who are older than 16 who do not as yet have identity documents). They are to be instructed to complete such forms and hand them in at the school together with the prescribed two photographs of themselves and other supporting documents so that these can be sent to the office of the Department of Home Affairs in the town or city concerned.
    • When learners aged 16 and older who are already in possession of identity documents move into a hostel or other residence of the school concerned, principals should ensure that the forms for notice of change of address at the back of their identity documents are completed. These forms are to be collected from them and sent to the department office in the town or city concerned.
    • (Note:  It is a requirement that learners give the address where they are residing while they are studying as their permanent residential address.)
  4. If a learner maintains that he/she has given notice of change of address and the form for notice of change of address is not in his identify document at that stage it may be accepted that he has already given notice of his new address.
  5. When an application to be admitted to a school is received from a learners l who has not previously been enrolled at a public or state-aided school, it is advisable to obtain all the necessary documents of the learners and both parents; to interview the learner and both parents and to request that the parents return within a day of two;  to study all details thoroughly;  and where there is any further uncertainty about admitting the learners, to contact the IDSO/DEC or District Director telephonically to obtain a final decision.


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