Controversial new unabridged birth certificate requirements


South Africa’s travel industry, represented by the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA), has reacted with outrage following the announcement that the removal of the onerous requirement to present an Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC) when travelling with minors will not be extended to South African citizens.

The Department of Home Affairs announced recently that foreign minors visiting South Africa will no longer be required to present the UBC when travelling to the destination, unless these are unaccompanied.

South African citizens, however, will still be required to do so when travelling across borders.

This, says ASATA CEO Otto de Vries, is blatant discrimination.

“The requirement to produce an Unabridged Birth Certificate, unless the child’s passport includes the details of both parents of the child and both parents are travelling with the child, is discriminatory not only against South African families, but also against those that do not meet the form of a traditional two-parent household,” says de Vries.

ASATA has, for several years, called for a thorough consultation process with industry to develop requirements that balance the need for security with economic growth delivered through travel and tourism.