Pretoria - The Department of Home Affairs is to launch a National Population Register (NPR) campaign which aims to register the majority of South African children by 2011.
The campaign, themed 2010 the Year of Action to speed up delivery services to the people, aims to have a single point of entry to a secure and credible national population register by registering all undocumented citizens.
It also aims to eliminate the late registration of births by the end of this year.
Home Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said South Africa has a large number of children under the age of 15 whose births have not been registered and as such have no official status in the country or on the population register.
She said the department's research shows that the majority of people who do not have birth certificates are those who are between the ages of one and 18.
"Through this massive registration drive, we aim to reach our ultimate objective that secures the integrity of the NPR, South Africa's biggest and most important database of citizen information.
"As the registration of a birth is the first step in the citizens' journey, our campaign starts here," Dr Dlamini-Zuma said.
Dlamini-Zuma said the department will go on a countrywide massive drive to eradicate the late registration of births and discontinue the process by December 2010 and October 2011 respectively.
It will ensure that all new births are registered within 30 days of delivery and that all South Africans who turn 16 and those above 16 receive identity documents.
The campaign also aims to ensure that every South African is in possession of a South African ID book with information that is verified and secure.
The campaign will be launched by President Jacob Zuma and Dlamini-Zuma at Umtata on 23 March 2010.