Children born in SA do not automatically qualify for citizenship

Cape Town – The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is to review why children born in South Africa to foreign parents are not automatically awarded citizenship by the Department of Home Affairs.

Advocate Priscilla Jana, deputy chairperson of the SAHRC, said she been unaware that unabridged birth certificates were not issued to children born to foreign parents. “We will look into this matter,” she said.

Department of Home Affairs spokesperson Thabo Mokgola said the department’s policy was that “for record purposes a notice of birth” would be issued instead.

Cape Town attorney Joy van der Heyde said she had filed nine notices against Home Affairs in the Western Cape High Court. They related to the department’s alleged refusal to issue unabridged birth certificates to foreign parents.

In another matter, Van der Heyde accused the department of failing to issue an unabridged birth certificate to a refugee whose daughter was born in the country.