The Department of Home Affairs has put in place strict measures for parents who do not register their children’s birth on time.
From January 2016 parents who register the birth of their children after 30 days will have to prove to the Department of Home Affairs that they are really South African citizens.
All children born in South Africa must be registered within 30 days of their birth, in terms of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992. All births registered after 30 days are regarded as a late registration of birth (LRB).
Register children within 30 days
To ensure that your child’s birth is registered within 30 days of birth decide on your baby’s name in time to avoid delaying the registration. The Department of Home Affairs provides online birth registration services, at over 300 health facilities and over 400 offices across the country. Check with your health facility if it’s connected for online birth registration or visit your local Home Affairs office.
At least one of the child’s parents has to be a South African citizen, when the child is born, for the child to be registered as a South African. If neither parent is a South African citizen the child cannot be registered as a South African citizen. However, the birth of the child can still be registered. To do this visit Home Affairs and complete a DHA19 form, which is a birth notice for non-citizens.
The registration of birth is the first right on which access to other human rights and basic services is dependent. A child registered on the national population register will have guaranteed access to various opportunities including healthcare, education, social services and social grants.
By registering births on time citizens will also ensure the credibility and security of South Africa’s national population register. An identity document is a gateway to many possibilities including job opportunities and education and entitles citizens to exercise their rights, including registering on the voters roll and participating and voting in national and local elections.
How to apply
South African citizens wanting to apply for LRB, identity numbers or identity documents must visit their nearest Home Affairs office and take at least one of the following with you: a letter from school; baptism certificate; clinic card or a letter from the tribal office or local councillor. You must also take two identity-sized photographs. All non-South Africans must first apply for citizenship. The Department of Home Affairs will conduct citizenship verification for all late birth applications to ensure that applicants are South African citizens.
Home Affairs’ offices are open: 8:00 to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 12:30 on Saturdays, 9:00 to 4:00 on the last Wednesday of every month. For more information, contact the Department of Home Affairs at 0800 601 190.