I posted on my GIS blog a few months ago about the deal with names. This was after I had heard some stories about Home Affairs unilaterally deciding that women should be assigned their husband’s surname, regardless of what they indicated when they signed the marriage register.
Guess what? The same thing happened to me. I indicated on the register that I would be hyphenating my name, and have spent the 9 months 3 weeks since the wedding parading around as such. So it was a surprise to me when I went to FNB to obtain a bank account verification letter that during the fingerprint check, I came up as Cindy Jayakumar.
I was expecting Cindy Williams, since I still haven’t done my new ID yet, but the FNB lady told me that Home Affairs updates the info as soon as the marriage is registered. Fine, but why then was it not Cindy Williams-Jayakumar? The FNB lady tells me that they always put the husband’s surname.
This was backed up a week later when I spoke to the lady from the SAGC, when she asked me why I wrote my registration exam as Cindy Williams, when all my correspondence was Cindy Williams-Jayakumar. When I explained to her about the ID, she said her daughter went through the same thing this year. When she queried why her ID was issued under her husband’s surname instead of under her original name as requested, she was informed by the Home Affairs guy that she may as well not have gotten married if she was not going to change to her husband’s surname. Charming.
In any case, I have had a change of heart, and by that I mean it was taking super long to write my name out, so when I do go get my new ID, I will accept my new name graciously.