Children born in South Africa to foreign parents not automatically entitled to SA citizenship, says court

Published: 5/Sep/2023
Source: Pretoria News (IOL)

By Zelda Venter

Pretoria – A court has found that children born in South Africa to foreign national parents do not automatically entitle them to South African citizenship.

The court then turned down an application by Zimbabwean parents for their children to be issued with SA birth certificates.

The parents had turned to the Polokwane High Court to review and set aside a decision by the department of home affairs, which refused to issue the three children with birth certificates.

The argument by the parents was that the department’s refusal was unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid.

The parents are Zimbabwean citizens currently staying in South Africa. They have three children who were born between 2010 and 2016.

All their children were given unabridged certificates for non-Citizens. The father said he was in South Africa on a work permit and the children’s mother was his partner.

The parents had approached the department to apply for a South African birth certificate for each of the children. Their application was prompted by the fact the children were all born in South Africa and didn’t have Zimbabwean citizenship or nationality.

They were told the only assistance they could get from the department was to be issued with unabridged birth certificates for non-South African citizens for their children in order for them to go to Zimbabwe so that the authorities there could issue them with Zimbabwean birth certificates.

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Themes: Birth Registration, Statelessness
Regions: South Africa
Year: 2023