As of 2013 the Department of Home Affairs is only issuing unabridged birth certificates.
According to Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, the unabridged certificates will be issued free of charge to all first time applicants, who will not have to pay the R75 previously expected of them.
Minister Pandor said the unabridged certificates would be issued on the spot, reducing the turn-around time experienced when applying for the abridged birth certificate.
The abridged birth certificate is a computer printout birth certificate, which contains only the details of the individual’s birth, identity number, names in full and country of birth. It is issued at the regional or district offices of the Department of Home Affairs.
Unabridged birth certificates, on the other hand, contains in addition to the above details, the parents’ particulars in full, identity numbers, names in full, city or town of birth and the citizenship at the time of the individual’s birth.
You may be required to produce the unabridged birth certificate when you travel overseas, claim citizenship by descent, apply for permanent residence or submit an insurance claim. It can also help in some cases to prove who the individual’s parents are.
On the subject of duplicate identity documents (IDs), Minister 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 Minister Pandor, only a few of those whose names were published on the list of people with duplicate IDs have come forward to have their ID conflicts resolved. She 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.”
Minister Pandor also announced that the South African Citizenship Amendment Act of 2010 would be implemented with effect from 1 January 2013.
The Act aims to make it easier to apply for citizenship on the basis of birth, descent and naturalisation.