The Department of Home Affairs has backtracked on a concession that it granted last year that children travelling into South Africa would not have to have their birth certificates translated into English.
Department Spokesperson, Mayihlome Tshete, told Tourism Update the birth certificates required by South Africa’s immigration regulations would need to be in English. This is despite a joint statement released by the Departments of Tourism and Home Affairs that stated that a translation would not be required.
Under the current regulation, from June 1, children travelling to, from and through SA will be required to produce an unabridged birth certificate – or the equivalent, from their country of origin – which must state the names of the child’s mother and father.
Tshwete said the birth certificates would have to be in English so that South Africa’s customs officials could read them. He also suggested that most countries supplied birth certificates in English.
“Even the Chinese guys and the Indian guys, as we speak, already do them in English,” he said.
When asked about the department’s prior statement that said the translation would not be required, Tshwete responded: “We’ve gone back to the drawing board and we’ve come back feeling it’s not going to be feasible.
“Whether the statement says this or that is neither here nor there. What we are saying now after looking at how it can possibly happen, is that it is not going to be feasible,” said Tshwete. “The translation is going to have to happen.”