Seven-year-old Sheila van Wyk spends most of her time playing along a gravel road in Blikkiesdorp instead of going to school.
She turns eight this year and although her stepsisters go to school every day, she has to stay at home because she has no birth certificate.
Her stepmother Mariam Snyders, 40, said she tried to enrol her in school this year, but was unable to.
“Her mom died last year and the child never had a birth certificate. The mother of the child also never had an ID, which makes it difficult.”
“I have been to Home Affairs on two occasions and was told I needed to have the mother of the child’s ID document, but I don’t have it.”
Snyders claimed she had been to several schools in Delft to enrol the child, but to no avail.
“I spoke to a principal about enrolling Sheila and then sorting out her birth certificate at a later stage.
“A social worker said we will be in big trouble and can be locked up if she doesn’t go to school.
“I can’t let her stay another year at home,” said Snyders.
Bronagh Casey, Western Cape Education spokeswoman, said Snyders has been advised to obtain an affidavit to enrol the child at school.
“According to our records, she tried to enrol her child at Abedare Primary School.
“A principal may enrol a learner with a birth certificate, clinic card or baptismal certificate. In the absence of any of these, the person must make a sworn affidavit to the police and submit this to the principal.
“Thereafter, the child must be registered with Home Affairs,” said Casey.
Snyders said the schools she went to were already full.