New regulations for traveling with children
Hello fellow travelers,
South Africa's immigration laws have recently undergone an intense revision, with the Department of Home Affairs advising the amendments are "in the best interest of South Africa's security and allows for efficient management of migration". The department also expressed concern about the growing issue of child trafficking and has announced new requirements for adults travelling with children. The new laws were to take effect from 1 July, but have now been delayed until 1 September.
The major amendment for families will be the requirement that parents entering, transiting or departing South Africa with children (aged under 18yrs) will be requested to provide an unabridged birth certificate (including the details of the child's father as well as the mother) of all traveling children. This applies even when both parents are traveling with their children and it also applies to foreigners and South Africans alike.
In the case of only one parent traveling with a child, he or she must produce an unabridged birth certificate plus
(i) consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate of the child authorising him or her to enter into or depart from the Republic with the child he or she is travelling with; or
(ii) a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the child; or
(iii) where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate.
While admirable in its desire to stem child trafficking, this new law will ultimately also deter some travelers and various tourism and airline organizations have expressed their concern.