SOUTH Africa has postponed some requirements regulating the travelling of children into and out of the country.
Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, on Tuesday said this followed different stakeholders having drawn the department’s attention to the challenges relating to the new requirements, which come into effect on October 1.
In particular, the stakeholders highlighted challenges regarding the requirement that all children entering or exiting South Africa be in possession of a passport, an Unabridged Birth Certificate, and written permission from both parents or guardians of the child, authorizing that child’s travel.
While the requirement that all children possess a passport has been implemented successfully, challenges have been raised regarding the requirements for the Unabridged Birth Certificate and written permission.
Stakeholders alerted the department of two main challenges- ensuring accurate and timely communication to missions abroad, travel operators, and prospective travellers around the world about the new requirements as well as that parents and those authorized to travel with children have time to obtain the required documentation in time for their travel plans.
“Having taken all of this into account, we have granted a postponement of these two particular requirements – the Unabridged Birth Certificate and written permission to June 1st 2015,” Gigaba said.
During this postponement, he said he had directed senior Immigration Services official, Jackie McKay, to work intensively with industry stakeholders to ensure accurate information is available to all prospective travellers accompanying children all around the world, and allow those travellers time to gather the necessary documents.
Therefore the population of children minors that will be affected by the implementation of these regulations would be children born between 1996 and February 2013. Approximately 17 million children were born during this period.
The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomed the deferment of the regulations.
“The DA welcomes this compromise by the Minister but believes that this concession by Minister Gigaba is an indication that he did not adequately apply his mind to these regulations in the first place.
“If the Minister is at all serious about addressing the public outcry over these new regulations, he must not put the cart before the horse and must suspend all the regulations,” said Haniff Hoosen, DA Shadow Minister of Home Affairs.
Source : CAJ News Agency