31 January 2013

South Africa: Issuing of Abridged Birth Certificates to End in March

Pretoria — The Department of Home Affairs will from 4 March stop issuing abridged birth certificates and will only issue unabridged birth certificates to parents of new born babies.

Briefing the media in Pretoria on Thursday, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor said the unabridged birth certificates will be issued on the spot and at no cost and will contain the details of both parents.

Pandor said this was part of the departments move towards a paperless environment as well as curb fraud.

According to the department, the current abridged birth certificate is easy to reproduce illegally as it contains only the name and ID number of the newborn baby and the mother.

It also contains only the details of the individual's birth -- identity number, names in full, country of birth -- and is a computer printout birth certificate, which is issued in the respective regional or district offices of the Department of Home Affairs.

With regard to orphans, Pandor said particulars of the legal guardians will be required.

"As a government department, one of our main functions is to issue secure, credible and accurate birth certificates and ID documents to all our people," the minister said.

She said the department was able to issue unabridged certificates as a result of the current IT modernisation project that is aimed at enhancing service delivery.

Last week, the department announced that it plans to have an online birth registration facility at all hospitals and clinics in the country to ensure that all births are registered on time.

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