As of 1 June 2015, all minors travelling to and from the Republic of South Africa will be required to produce an “unabridged birth certificate”, Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni said on Tuesday.
The Director General made the announcement during a press conference after briefing the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs in Parliament.
He said the new requirements were aimed at establishing the principle that all minors require the consent of their parents when travelling in and out of the country to address, amongst others, security concerns.
From 1 June, if a person is travelling with a child – whether single, married or divorced – they must have a passport as well as an unabridged certificate which reflects the details of the parent when entering or leaving South Africa.
“One of the points that were raised is that in terms of the South African passport and other travel documents, good parents must provide consent in as far as the issuance of the travel documents is concerned,” he said.
An unabridged birth certificate is a certificate that contains the details of both the child’s parent, including their marital status and whether they are the biological parents as well.
The Director General said in a case of a single parent, where the second parent did not acknowledge paternity, such consent would not be required from the second parent, meaning that his or her details can be left out of the unabridged certificate.
He said in the event where the custody of the child is shared, consent must be sought from both parents for the purposes of travelling with the minor.
In the event of a divorce, the Director General said should both parents be given a joint custody, an unabridged certificate with the details of both parents is required.
Where an adult is not a biological parent of the child, the person needs to produce a copy of an unabridged certificate and an affidavit saying he or she has permission to travel with the child.
He said to create awareness about the new regulations to parents who do not understand the regulations, an aisory will be posted on the Home Affairs website, and a pamphlet will be produced explaining the requirements clearly.
The Director General said the regulations were not a burden to parents, and that they were introduced to protect their children.
Other countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and other European countries had the same requirements, he explained.
“It is the law in South Africa that children must be registered. The only entry in South Africa to ensure that children are registered within 30 days of being born because it is the law. Complying with the law can never be a burden.
“No parent will want the child to leave the country without their consent because it is a fact that there is child labour, there is trafficking,” he said.
He said those that planned and undertook their travels prior to 1 June 2015 will not be required to produce the certificate.
While it took between six and eight weeks for an unabridged certificate to be issued before March 2013, applicants could now get the certificate on the spot.
Source : SAnews.gov.za