In a radio interview this morning on SaFm’s Forum@8 South African Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, spoke about the necessity of obtaining unabridged birth certificates for all under aged children.
The minister is conducting a national tour in which he plans to meet with Department of Home Affairs’ staff to discuss issues around leadership, professionalism and how to render better service to citizens and anyone visiting a Department of Home Affairs office. He said that the aim of the tour was to start the process of drastically improving his department’s service delivery levels over the next five years.
Speaking to SaFm’s Forum@8 on Monday, 6 October 2014 the minister said that the issuing of unabridged birth certificates for new born babies is for the protection and safety of South African children and citizens.
The minister also explained that the unabridged birth certificate contains more details of the child and the child’s parents offering added security when a child is crossing a South African border as it would be possible to tie him or her to the person they are traveling with.
The Department of Home Affairs believes this will be an effective way to combat child smuggling and abductions
Currently the department is converting all abridged (traditional) birth certificates to unabridged birth certificates. This also means that from 1 June 2015 all new-born babies will be issued with an unabridged birth certificate upon registering the birth and the old birth certificates will be faced out.
Minister Gigaba also spoke about the issue of the discontinuation of temporary passports.
He said that since passports are being issued within 4 to 7 working days the temporary passports have become obsolete and the department will therefore no longer be issuing this document.
Responding to a caller who wanted to know how the Department planned to tackle illegal Zimbabwean immigrants Gigaba said that his department is working closely with the police to solve the problems of Zimbabwean nationals who are applying for South African residency permits.
"South Africa is seen as one of the many countries that attract asylum seekers because of its humanitarian culture and open society,” said Gigaba.
Gigaba added that the implementation of these interventions and other new systems in the Department of Home Affairs are an attempt to improve service delivery.
He continued his radio interview saying that his department is in the process of improving the service of issuing correct and relevant documents to asylum seekers and catering for their children affected by their parents’ asylum applications.
The minister said that children whose parents are of other nationalities cannot legally be declared as South Africans, unless those parents apply for permanent residency and naturalisation.
While on radio Mr Gigaba also made a public promise to try and resolve some of the listeners' and callers’ complaints adding that he would take their full details so that his department could communicate with them directly on any developments.