South Africa tightens child entry


SOUTH AFRICAN immigration officials are now demanding long birth certificates at the borders from children travelling to that country, a few months after a requirement for the documents was suspended, reports said.


A requirement for unabridged birth certificates and affidavits authorising permission to travel with children was suspended late last year by South Africa’s Home Affairs Department to June 2015.

However, reports from the neighbouring country indicate that there had been an about turn, as South Africa’s immigration regulations now require unabridged birth certificates or a country’s equivalent for travelling minors, and it has to be English.

The South Africa immigration requirement for an unabridged birth certificate, which names the child’s mother and father – or the equivalent thereof, from their country of origin is said to be a means to curb child trafficking across that country’s borders.

According to report, this is no longer the case, with South Africa’s Home Affairs department spokesperson, Mayihlome Tshete, saying the birth certificates would have to be in English so that “South Africa’s customs officials could read them”.

According to Tshete, the change was due to the department realising that the untranslated documents were “not going to be feasible and that the translation is going to have to happen, despite what the rules say”.

Reports said the requirement for birth certificates had been suspended after realisation that it was putting a great deal of pressure on expatriate families, resulting in various online campaigns and petitions.

South Africa has been introducing a raft of strict measures to regulate the number of foreigners visitors.

Over-stayers are now banned from re-entering South Africa for a period ranging from one to five years.