Foreign nationals’ kids born in South Africa can be denied citizenship, but foreigners may work in government

Published: 1/Mar/2022
Source: Africa Check

After a minister said children born in South Africa to migrants could be denied citizenship, a Twitter user claimed all government employees had to be South Africans with South African parents.

  • Home affairs minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said there was no obligation to grant citizenship to children born to foreign nationals in South Africa.
  • It’s true that if both parents are foreign nationals, South Africa doesn’t have to give their child citizenship. But it is required to if by denying citizenship a person would become stateless. And a child of foreigners born and raised in the country can apply for naturalisation at 18.
  • A Twitter user responded to Motsoaledi by adding that jobs in “all spheres of government” could only go to people born in South Africa with South African parents. An expert dismissed this as “errant nonsense”.

Is South Africa not obliged to grant citizenship to children born to foreign nationals in South Africa? That’s the claim minister of home affairs Dr Aaron Motsoaledi made on Radio 702 in late January 2022.

Motsoaledi said the only exception was if the child would become stateless if they didn’t get citizenship.

Radio 702 posted his comments in a tweet that was then quote-tweeted by another user. That user claimed that “the law says for anyone to serve at any gov spheres, they must be born in SA & both parents must be South African”.

The tweet continued: “We are coming for those who work in chapter 9 institutions. We are coming for those who are holding key positions in gov.”

Is Motsoaledi right about denying citizenship to children of foreign parents? And is the Twitter user right that only people born in South Africa to South African parents can get government jobs? We checked.

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Themes: Acquisition by children, Nationality of Politicians
Regions: South Africa
Year: 2022
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