More birth certificates to be issued at hospitals

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REFILWE MEKOA

The Department of Home Affairs plans to employ permanent employees at various hospitals in the country to issue birth certificates to new mothers.

Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, said they were still discussing the issue with the Health Minister Aron Motsoaledi and his MECs. He was speaking during his visit at Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein last week, where he issued birth certificates to new mothers.

Gigaba said the plan is to ensure that every new mother can register her child at a hospital she gave birth at or within the first thirty days of the birth of the child. He explained that home affairs offices currently exist at only 339 hospitals out of 839 hospitals in the country.

“All South Africans must value and safeguard their citizenship and not participate in illegal schemes resulting in people having illegal citizenship. Only those who have been registered at birth are going to be allowed into the national population registry,” he said.

Gigaba clarified that they were also planning to enable Pelonomi Hospital to issue death registrations. He added that it is another services they want the department of health to offer beside birth registrations.

“This will assist us in taking away services from home affairs that can be offered at hospitals as part of their services. It will reduce long queues and ensure that our offices render efficient and effective services. This function will in the future prove to be the most critical,” said Gigaba.

Meanwhile, Free State Health MEC Benny Malakoane told Courant that there are home affairs employees who regularly visit health facilities that do not have permanent home affairs offices to issue birth certificates.