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Home Affairs to Issue Instant Unabridged Birth Certificates

February 4, 2013

Department of Home Affairs

The department of home affairs has announced that from 4 March 2013 only unabridged birth certificates will be issued for newborn babies.

This decision comes from the department’s review of the Birth and Death Act (1992) as well as the Citizenship Act (1995) which culminated in the South African Citizenship Amendment Act 2010.

The department claims the current abridged birth certificate suffers from the following failures:
• It is easy to reproduce illegally.
• It contains only the name and ID number of the newborn baby and the mother.
• It resulted in the creation of additional paper records.
• It takes 6-8 weeks to produce.

The unabridged birth certificate, which will be issued on the spot at no cost, will:
• Minimise turnaround time and ensure speedy, efficient and accurate service delivery.
• Be more secure and reliable with added information; including the particulars of both parents and their identity documents numbers.
• Support a paperless system as only one document will be issued per birth.

Security improvements in this process will mean that a more secure national population register will prevent cases of irregular birth registrations or certifications.

The department has also recently announced the planned installation of online birth registration resources in 795 targeted health operations with maternity facilities.

Currently around 40% of these facilities have online resources.

The department of home affairs issued a statement on this issue on 31 January 2013.