Birth certificates for Christmas babies

Monday, December 24, 2018

In the spirit of Christmas, Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele is set to hand out birth certificates to the parents of “Christmas babies” in KwaZulu-Natal.

Cwele is scheduled to visit Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in Umlazi to join in the celebratory welcoming of babies to be born on Christmas Day.

The Minister will hand over the documents as well as gift packs comprising baby nappies and blankets.

The Department of Home Affairs prioritises visits to the 391 connected health facilities to promote early birth registration within 30 days, as required by the births and deaths registration Act of 1992.

It believes that success for improved birth registration depends on availability of sustainable IT systems and infrastructure within health facilities.

“The Minister is expected to use this occasion to encourage all mothers to register their children immediately after birth, especially where the birth occurrence is at a connected health facility that is empowered to register births and issue birth certificates on the spot,” said the department.

In 2017/18, a total of 772 035 births were registered within 30 calendar days, exceeding the national target of 750 000 births to be registered within 30 days of birth.

By registering children and documenting them, government ensures that their identity and status as citizens are recognised so that for the rest of their lives, they are visible with the capacity to exercise their civic rights, access government services and participate fully in the economy.

This also enables government to draw accurate population information that is essential for research and planning.

The Minister’s visit is set to get underway at 9am.

Meanwhile, Gauteng MEC of Health Dr Gwen Ramokgopa is also scheduled to welcome bouncing Christmas babies at the Sebokeng Hospital in the Vaal.

“In a giving spirit of Christmas, the MEC will shower babies with gifts,” said the MEC’s office.

In addition, the MEC will also use the opportunity to express gratitude to hospital staff who show commitment towards their work to ensure that quality health care is rendered at public health facilities, including during the festive holidays. –