Travel relief as passport changes offer easier travel with minors
Travelling with minors is set to be easier as the details of South African parents will now appear on children’s passports.
This is in line with the Department of Home Affairs’s new modernisation drive.
The move is set to appease parents travelling with minors, without necessarily compromising on security.
The move puts SA on the same level as most countries that already list the names of the parents on a child’s passport and removes the need to have an unabridged birth certificate.
Travellers from foreign countries that do not list the names of parents in minors’ passports still need to provide unabridged birth certificates.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Wednesday the department was also moving to a paperless process for birth, marriage and death registration.
Gigaba said the parents’ details will now be printed in the children’s passports.
"In this way, the department will have delivered also on the earlier cabinet concession of easing travel with children…. However, if a child is not travelling with parents [one or both], written consent is still required. Those with valid passports do not have to reapply for new passports for children," he said.
Automated birth registration
Birth registration for children up to a year old would be automated, meaning people would no longer complete paper forms for birth registration. Gigaba said this would be more convenient for applicants, and will reduce corruption and fraud.
Citizens who are already registered in the national population register will be able to have marriage and death certificates reprinted without filling out paper forms.
Gigaba said the automation of the birth, marriage and death system will require a major system upgrade, commencing on July 13.
"This system upgrade is a part of ongoing enhancements of the live-capture system, to improve service quality, by modernising processes.
"The end-product will be the automation of the way home affairs offices capture birth registration and issue certificates for births, marriages and deaths," Gigaba said.
"Documents will now be saved electronically and be easily retrieved upon request, as opposed to the old paper-based legacy system."