Home Affairs to only issue unabridged birth certificates

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pretoria - The Department of Home Affairs says from 2013, it will only issue unabridged birth certificates.

Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor said the unabridged certificates will be issued free of charge to all first time applicants.

Pandor said the unabridged certificates will be issued on the spot, reducing the turn-around time currently experienced when applying for the abridged birth certificate.

The abridged birth certificate contains only the details of the individual's birth -- identity number, names in full, country of birth -- and is a computer printout birth certificate, which is issued in the respective regional or district offices of the Department of Home Affairs.

The unabridged birth certificates, on the other hand, contains in addition to the above particulars, the parents' particulars in full -- identity number, names in full, city/ town of birth and their citizenship -- at the time of the individual's birth.

The unabridged birth certificate is required for overseas travel purposes or for claiming of citizenship by descent, or applying for permanent residence, or even nationally for insurance claims or any other purpose where they have to prove who the individual's parents are.

Switching focus to the issue of duplicate IDs, Pandor said her department was intensifying efforts to deal with the problem.

She said there were 29 677 South Africans with duplicate IDs.

"We also commissioned TransUnion to track down the holders of duplicate IDs. We took this extraordinary step because if you have a duplicate ID, you won't be able to hold a bank account, access social grants, housing and other government services or enrol for further education and training," she said.

According to Pandor, only a few of those whose names were published on the list of duplicate IDs have come forward to have their ID conflicts resolved.

Pandor said her department would continue to track down the remaining individuals.

"Once we have made contact, we will invalidate the duplicate IDs, remove them from our National Population Register, and advise all banks and other relevant government institutions," she said.

Pandor also announced that the South African Citizenship Amendment Act of 2010 would be implemented with effect from 1 January 2013.

The South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 2010 was assented to and signed by the President on 3 December 2010, and published in the Government Gazette on 7 December 2010.

The main objective of the act would be to amend the acquisition of citizenship and provide that any person born of one of the parents being a South African citizen acquires citizenship by birth if born in or outside the Republic, which is a departure from the current Act which makes citizenship of a person born out of the Republic as citizenship by descent, even though one of the parents is a South African.