SA welcomes naturalised citizens

Friday, September 7, 2018

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Friday welcomed foreign nationals, who have acquired South African citizenship through the naturalisation process. 

“We welcome you in our bosom because you enrich the diversity of our country and people, and ensure that South Africa becomes integrated into Africa and the world as a diverse and tolerant culture and nation,” Gigaba said. 

Speaking at the naturalisation ceremony held at Birchwood Conference centre in Boksburg, Gigaba said he feels a sense of a special privilege on behalf of the people of South Africa and government to welcome and refer to the foreign nationals as fellow South Africans. 

More than 900 foreign nationals have been inducted and received naturalisation certificates conferred to them by a senior member of the judiciary, Judge Ledwaba, confirming that they are now South Africans.  

“We accept you as full members of our nation and do so in broad daylight so that none among our people should dare in future question your exercise of your rights and responsibilities or treat you as second-class citizens who do not belong or have less rights than others because you happened to have been born elsewhere. 

“Our citizenship is therefore very precious to us, conscious as we are of the price that was paid for it,” Gigaba said. 

Gigaba said naturalised citizens bring into society not only the learned experiences of their countries of origin, but also the diversity that helps to enrich South Africans and make them better prepared for future challenges in a highly complex and diverse, but very integrated and globalised world. 

“We therefore do not treat the issue of South African citizenship as a routine administrative matter and that is why we view it as an occasion to undertake a formal, mandatory induction process in an appropriate ceremony overseen by a judge representing the Chief Justice,” Gigaba said. 

He affirmed South Africa’s view that embraces international migration as a natural, human phenomenon, which can benefit development, nation building and social cohesion if managed well. 

How naturalisation works

The naturalisation ceremony has been successfully hosted by Home Affairs on three occasions – in 2016, 2017 and August 2018. 

Abdul Hossein from Pakistan, is one of those who acquired the South African citizenship. He told SAnews that he has long been waiting for this day. 

“I am excited that I am now a South African citizen,” said Hossein, who has been in South Africa with his family since 2005. 

Salim Salim, who has been in South Africa since 2006, also expressed his joy at the ceremony. 

“I love South Africa and its people. The people here are nice and there are many opportunities here in South Africa.” 

According to the Department of Home Affairs, applications for naturalisation may only be received by the department if the applicant has been on a Permanent Residence Permit for a period of 10 years from the date of obtaining Permanent Residence (PR) in the Republic of South Africa. 

No application may be received by the department if the applicant has less than the prescribed 10-year period. 

Requirements for application

• DHA -175 (application form)

• DHA -529 (applicant form)

• Proof of continuous residence one year prior to application

• RSA Police report valid for six months from the date of issue

• Police clearance from country or countries of present nationalities

• Letter confirming acceptance of dual nationality

• Proof of payment (R300.00) as per regulated by the National Treasury.