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Register your child’s birth early

Written by Maselaelo Seshotli and www.dha.gov.za
The Department of Home Affairs has called on all parents to register their babies when they are born or within 30 days of birth. Timely registration of birth must, and will soon be, the only way in to the National Population Register (NPR).

All late registrations of birth will come to an end by December 2015.This is in line with the announcement by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba during his Budget Vote last year that the department intends ending all late registration of birth (LRB) by end of December 2015, after which all late applications for birth would go through an appeal and adjudication process.

Following the announcement, the department intensified the on-going National.

Last month, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba handed over unabridged birth certificates to parents of newborn babies at the Netcare Femina Hospital in Pretoria as part of the NPR campaign.

How to register a birth

A parent, guardian or any other person legally responsible for the child must complete form BI-24 (with black ink only) and it must be submitted to the nearest office of the Department of Home Affairs if you are in South Africa, or the nearest South African embassy, mission or consulate if you are overseas.

The department, together with the Department of Health, have also partnered to make child registrations easier by providing a service of registering newborn babies at the hospitals with the help of home affairs officials.

Late birth registrations are divided into three categories:

  • After 30 days but before one year.
  • After one year but before 15 years.
  • After 15 years and older.

Parents who register their children after 30 days but before the age of one will have to fill in form BI-24 which must then be completed and submitted along with written reasons why the birth was not registered as required in the Births and Deaths Registration Act.

Once the application is successful it will be forwarded to the department’s head office for the allocation of an identity number and be archived.

Those who register after one year but before 15 years will have to complete form BI -24/1 and attach written reasons why the birth was not registered as required and an affidavit written by the parents, legal guardian or a close relative at least 10 years older than the child.

For the application to be processed quickly the department will need the following:

  • A certificate from the hospital or maternity home where the child was born.
  • Confirmation of the child’s personal details.
  • The child’s baptismal certificate and clinic card.

During application parents will be interviewed and have their fingerprints verified against the national database.

For those parents who register their children after the age of 15 the process gets more complicated as they have to complete form DHA-24, DHA-24/A x 2 and DHA-288 for the registration of birth. Also, they must be South African citizens or hold a valid South African identity document.

To avoid following long procedures to have your child or children registered, rather register your new born at birth or within 30 days of their birth.

For more information call the Home Affairs toll free line: 0800 60 11 90 or visit: www.dha.gov.za