Unabridged birth certificate rules for travelling children set to be scrapped

17 October 2019 - 06:37
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Minister of home affairs Aaron Motsoaledi.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU Minister of home affairs Aaron Motsoaledi.

The unabridged birth certificate rules for parents travelling with children under the age of 18 are set to be abolished, with the rules only applying to overseas tourists travelling to SA with children. 

Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi confirmed the news in an interview on 702 on Tuesday.

“We took a view after President Cyril Ramaphosa's stimulus package announcement, to find other methods of fighting child trafficking and not use the unabridged certificate method,” he said.

The rules were first introduced under former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba in 2015. TimesLIVE previously reported the rule was labelled a hassle and a tourism deterrent. 

Consent still needed

Motsoaledi said the consent rules had not changed.

“The issue of a parent leaving SA with a child, that rule hasn't changed, we still need consent from both parents.

“When you leave SA to go abroad with a child, all we want is consent from the other parent, because we don't want children escaping out of the country without the other parent knowing,” he said.

Visa-free SA

Last month, Motsoaledi announced that travellers from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand would no longer require a visa to visit SA.

He said the changes were to encourage growth in the country and contribute towards growing the economy, facilitating the creation of jobs and securing the country's borders.

“Home affairs has an important contribution to make in growing tourism and, by extension, growing the economy and creating jobs.

“We are constantly reviewing our operations to ensure that we relax entry requirements, without compromising our responsibility towards the safety and security of our citizens.”