Index Parents urged to register their children soonest as LRB process coming to an end
Date Added: 02 October 2015

Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, at the end of September reiterated government’s call that all parents must register their new born babies within 30 days after birth because the late registration of births (LRB) process will be coming to an end soon.

“After December 31st 2015 the late registration of birth will become extremely difficult. We will increase the exhaustive checks, investigation and verification that we do on each LRB application.

“We need your help to spread the word that LRB is coming to an end, and those few genuine South Africans who have not had their births registered, should do so before December 31st to save themselves any difficulty,” Minister Gigaba told delegates at his department’s National Stakeholder Summit in Boksburg.

He explained that the department wanted to end the common practice of late registration of birth, which was a loophole to the National Population Register.

“The LRB was necessary early in our democracy because of the huge backlog in civic registration. Thanks to the National Population Registration campaign led by our department, and supported by our valued stakeholder forums, the vast majority of South Africans have now had their births and identities registered,” he said.

The Minister said that late registration of birth had become an opportunity for non-South Africans to fraudulently attempt to obtain South African citizenship, aided by “unscrupulous” South Africans.

He said the best way to safeguard the identity and status of every citizen and ensure an accurate National Population Register was to register the birth of every child as early as possible.

“This is why the law now requires that the birth of every child be registered within 30 days. We have made great strides in entrenching early registration of birth, with most births now registered early, up from less than half of births registered early several years ago.”

He said Home Affairs officials will visit 389 health facilities around the country to assist parents in obtaining an unabridged birth certificate for their children before leaving the hospital.

All parents need to do is bring their IDs with them to the hospital, and a name for the baby.

“It is for the good of your child, and ensures his/her identity, citizenship status and rights are protected. It is also the law,” Minister Gigaba added.

Pilot project for Smart ID applications at banks launched

Meanwhile, during the same week, Minister Gigaba also officially launched a pilot project which will see two major banks, First National Bank and Standard Bank, issuing the new smart ID cards.

Nedbank has also signed an agreement with the department to allow customers to apply for and collect the smart ID cards, which replace the green bar-coded ID and have better security features making them difficult to forge.

The two banks kick started the project by allowing their employees to apply for the smart ID cards before allowing members of the public to apply for their new IDs as well as passports.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Gigaba said discussions were underway with other banks to get involved in the project.

The partnership between the banks and Home Affairs seeks to ensure convenient access to the application process by bank’s clients.

It will also accelerate the replacement of the green bar-coded ID book. The department, which announced the introduction of the smart ID cards in 2013, plans to replace about 38 million green IDs in five years’ time.

In his Budget Vote speech in May earlier year, Minister Gigaba announced the intention to collaborate with major banks to provide an alternative channel to serve clients, expanding Home Affairs’ footprint and reducing queues at front-line offices.