South Africa: Government policy is failing refugees

Published: 3/Apr/2021
Source: The Argus (Cape Town) / Independent online


Cape Town – Jose Neves Pedro was born at the Johannesburg General Hospital on February 7, 1996. Issued only a hospital letter and handwritten birth certificate without an ID number, Pedro is now one of thousands of stateless persons living in South Africa.

Born to refugee parents, who fled the Angolan civil war, the 25-year-old has no legal documentation to his name. Without an ID number, an ID card, Pedro cannot access his basic human right to work, or study.

Pedro said that his attempts to seek help from The South African Human Rights offices in Braamfontein, were in vain. He handed his information to them in 2018 and has not heard from them since.

The South African Citizenship Act 88 of 1995, which governs how one obtains or loses citizenship, has a provision that states that children that are born to migrants in South Africa and have lived in South Africa until they turn 18 or older and have birth certificates, can apply for citizenship.

Read further:

Themes: Acquisition by children, Birth Registration, Nationality and Refugees, Statelessness
Regions: South Africa
Year: 2021