Mahonisi is a Shangan and Tsonga community in rural Limpopo. Their village is administered under a Traditional Authority that charges levies to them for letters of recognition so that they can access government services such as birth, marriage and death certificates. Other South African citizens not living under Traditional Authorities do not need to pay levies for these services and documents.
Mamayila Rose Baloyi had lived in Mahonisi all her life, when her husband died she faced an expensive bureaucratic battle to get the family home transferred into her name. In the end she paid a levy of over half her monthly income to get the necessary paperwork.
Like many communities across the South Africa the Mahonisi community is frustrated with the lack of basic service delivery in their village. They do not know where the money they spend on levies goes.
Mahonisis Village, Gazankulu, Limpopo, South Africa
©Zute & Demelza Lightfoot / Legal Resources Centre