Press Release: Couple ask Home Affairs to register children’s birth
Published by Legal Resources Centre 01 April 2016
For Immediate Release: 01 April 2016
The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) represents a couple who are asking the Department of Home Affairs to register their two children and provide birth certificates. The couple approached the LRC after they were unable to register and obtain birth certificates from Home Affairs because the mother is an undocumented Swaziland national. The father is a South African national.
The matter is due to be argued in the Durban High Court today.
The couple have been in a relationship since 2007. The mother entered South Africa when she was 15 years old and she has been unable to obtain any documentation legalising her stay.
Because the couple have been unable to obtain the birth certificates for the children, the oldest child has been denied entry into school.
Section 29(1)(a) of the Constitution entitles everyone to the right to a basic education. Furthermore, Section 28 of the Constitution entitles every child to the right to a name and nationality from birth. Therefore, the State is under an obligation to realise the children’s right to basic education and the right to a name and nationality from birth.
Section 2 of the South African Citizenship Act states that any person who is born in or outside the Republic, one of his or her parents, at the time of his or her birth, being a South African citizen, must be registered and provided with a birth certificate. The Births and Deaths Registration Act allows for the registration of the birth of a minor child in the circumstances where one of the parents of the child does not have any form of proof of identification
Therefore, the LRC seek an order declaring the Director General of Home Affairs to:
Register the children births and provide birth certificates within 60 days.
That the eldest child to be allowed enrolment into a public school in the area.
To process a visa for the mother within a period of 60 days, so that she can be allowed to make application for a permanent residence visa, as she cannot apply for permanent residence within South Africa as she does not have the required documentation.