Children born to foreign parents in South Africa are at a disadvantage it seems: they are not automatically awarded citizenship by the Department of Home Affairs. According to Advocate Priscilla Jana, the deputy chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), the SAHRC was unaware that unabridged certificates were not being issued to kids born in the country to foreign parents.
However, according to Department of Home Affairs spokesperson Thabo Mokgola, the current policy is for a notice of birth to be issued. Since a notice of birth can be issued by a hospital and is not an identity document, children cannot enforce their rights in the country, foreign parents are unable to travel in and out of the country with their child and kids do not have documents reflecting their name, identity number or country of origin. More worryingly, children given up for adoption without paperwork cannot be processed through the legal system either.
Cape Town attorney Joy van der Heyde says she has already filed nine notices against Home Affairs in the Western Cape High Court for their refusal to issue unabridged birth certificates to foreign parents.
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