Notice of birth
The Act stipulates that the birth of a child born alive must be reported within 30 days after the birth.
Notice of the birth must be given by one of the parents or, if neither of the parents is able to do so, the person having charge of the child or a person requested by the parents or said person to do so. A person requested to give notice must have a written mandate to do so which must also include the reasons why the parents cannot give notice themselves.
Notice may be given to any domestic office of the Department of Home Affairs by submitting a duly completed BI-24 Notice of Birth.
Only pens with black ink must be used for the completion of BI-24 form.
Upon registration of a birth, which takes 1 day, an abridged birth certificate is issued free of charge. However, any further issues are subject to submission of a duly completed BI-154 application form and payment of a prescribed fee of R10-00. A full (unabridged) birth certificate, if required, may also be applied for by completion of the same form and payment of the prescribed fee of R45-00 applicable to full birth certificates.
Applications for birth certificates should be lodged at your nearest Home Affairs office if applying from within South Africa and at the nearest South African Mission or Consulate if applying from abroad (applications from abroad may take longer depending on the different diplomatic bag dispatch periods).
Aliens born in South Africa are issued with full certificates free of charge upon registration of their births.
Notice of birth after 30 days (late registrations) are subject to stricter measures. Three categories of late registrations are distinquished, namely:
Notice must be on a BI-24/1, accompanied by written reasons why the birth was not notified as prescribed, and in addition by all available documentary proof confirming the identity and status of the child, as well as affidavits by the parents and where they are deceased, by a close relative at least 10 years older than the child, attesting to the child's identity and status. The following documentation will be considered and to facilitate the confirmation of a child's identity and status as many as possible should be submitted:
Notices after 15 years
The notice must be on a BI-24/15, accompanied by a BI-9 application for an identity document and the supporting documentation as specified in regard to applicants for identity documents whose births have not been registered yet, as well as written reasons why the birth was not notified as prescribed.
Children born within wedlock
For purposes of the Act, "marriage" includes a religious law marriage recognised by the Minister of Home Affairs. In this regard parents so married must complete a BI-1658: Application for the recognition of a marriage solemnised or concluded under the tenets of any religion.
Children born within wedlock can be registered under the surname of the father or the mother jointly in both the father's and mother's surname (double barrel surname) as contemplated in Section 9.
Children born out of wedlock
Such children are registered under the surname of the mother (Section 10), but may also be registered under the surname of the natural father, provided the father acknowledges paternity and both mother and father consent to the registration of the child under the father's surname in the presence of a Home Affairs official.
Births outside South Africa
In respect of a child born outside South Africa where at least one of the parents was a South African citizen at the time of the child's birth, the birth may be notified at the South African Embassy or Mission in the country concerned, or at a regional office of the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa.
Such applications must be on a BI-24, BI-24/1 or BI-24/15, as the case may be, and must be accompanied by a BI-529 Citizenship Questionnaire, a certified copy of the child's foreign birth certificate containing full particulars of the child's parents, and in the case of children 15 years and older, a BI-9 application for an identity document.