Full birth certificates for minors traveling to South Africa

04 Jan 2016 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 04 JAN (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration is under pressure to inform the nation of the required full birth certificate of minors traveling to neighbouring South Africa after travellers were turned away at the borders.
The ministry has so far been made aware of six cases on different occasions at the three border posts with South Africa: Noordoewer, Ariamsvlei and the Kalahari border post that goes through Botswana to South Africa.
In a media statement availed to Nampa on Monday, Chief Public Relations Officer at the ministry, Salome V. Kambala explained that all minors – persons under the age of 18 - are required to carry a full birth certificate when travelling to South Africa.
“Namibia does not have such a law in demand yet, but our neighbouring country has implemented that law. Therefore, visitors travelling to South Africa must adhere and respect the sovereignty rules of the country (South Africa),” she said.
Kambala said Namibia’s neighbour introduced the law last year based on an increase of child trafficking and this is why minors travelling to South Africa are required carrying a full birth certificate and also their passports.
A full birth certificate is different in that it reflects the names of the mother and father.
“The world is alert because of child trafficking cases. People do steal children and use them for different types of abusive traumatic ways to make money.”
She urged Namibians to be on the lookout for cases of child trafficking and to immediately report such matters to authorities.
In 2015, the South African Department of Home Affairs supported the introduction of the full birth certificate requirement with the figure of 30 000 children trafficked into sex trade in the country every year; an estimate correlated by various non-governmental and humanity organisations. This lead to an uproar amongst tourism officials who said such a regulation would make it difficult for travellers to enter the country and discourage tourism.
Kambala further reminded Namibian and foreign students to follow the procedures in place when applying for a study permit to any country.
“Students will only be accepted in our learning institutions when they have an acceptance letter that qualifies them to get a student visa in Namibia.”
She strongly warned foreign students that it is not allowed for them to apply for a student visa and once issued, they want to do business in Namibia.