It's finally official! Here is the full travel advisory for travelling with minors to SA

2019-11-11 11:11 - Selene Brophy
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International minors travelling to South Africa no longer require Unabridged Birth Certificates or consent letters when travelling with their parents. 

The Unabridged Birth Certificate waiver has been welcomed and is expected to boost tourism, after negatively impacting international visitors accessibility to South Africa for a number of years.  

StatsSA recently released new tourism figures, showing a drop of 2% in overseas tourist arrivals from January to August this year. This is even further down after we saw a 1.3% drop in overseas visitors from January to August 2018.  

Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane called it a "positive development ahead of the festive season when the country sees an increase in inbound travellers".  

The directive, signed by Home Affairs Minister Aoron Motsoaledi on Friday, 8 November was followed by an official announcement on Sunday at the Lilizela Tourism Awards ceremony in Pretoria.

Although intended to curb human trafficking, The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) estimates the country’s travel, tourism and hospitality industries lost hundreds of millions of rands over the past five years as a direct result of the restrictions and how they were implemented.  

“This is welcome relief and will help South Africa regain its competiive position as an attractive tourism destination,” remarked AASA CEO, Chris Zweigenthal. 

“Reforms such as this waiver will help to strengthen the entire sector and contribute towards the economic rejuvenation of South Africa and the region. This is a good start, but there are still other corrective interventions to be made and unnecessary red tape to be slashed”, added Mr Zweigenthal. 

READ: 'We don't deserve tourists, we have to fight for them' - The glitz of the Lilizela Tourism Awards 2019

"All ports of entries as well as the airline and maritime industries have been informed following the signing of the waiver," says Kubayi-Ngubane.

"We believe that this announcement will go a long way in helping us to attract more tourists to South Africa as a destination of choice."

“The news will certainly be welcomed by all in the tourism industry, both in South Africa and around the world,” says South African Tourism acting CEO, Sthembiso Dlamini.  

“In all our markets, family travel is a key driver for arrivals and we compete with many other destinations for the share of family travel. The waiver announcement will allow us to proactively and aggressively market South Africa as a family friendly destination again. There is an abundance of fun to be had in South Africa for families travelling with children of all ages and certainly enough experiences to leave lasting memories in both parents and children.”  

“To completely rescind this requirement is a win for tourism, as the work continues to bring over 21million targeted international visitors by 2030 to boost tourism and turn around our economy,” says Kubayi-Ngubane.

READ: The two African countries international tourists are now choosing over South Africa

The full travel advisory for travelling with minor

(Travel Advisory PDF supplied)

New passports rules for SA minors: How to apply for your child's passport 

South Africa has crossed a major stumbling-block requirement of unabridged birth certificates for travelling SA minors - and its new passport in place for children also goes a long way in protecting South African minors when travelling.

The Department of Home Affairs has previously ruled that passports for minor citizens will now have both the details of the mother and father included in it. 

READ: Upgraded SA children's passport spells relief for travelling parents, sets global precedent

So what's the process for applying for your child's passport? 

The Department of Home Affairs lists the following criteria for 'Tourist  Passports: Persons under 16 years':

These passports are issued to SA citizens who are 15 years or younger. The passports are valid for 5 years and are not renewable. Once the validity period of a passport expires you will have to submit a new application for a passport. 

To apply for the passport you must submit the following documents:

  • A duly completed passport application Form DHA-73
  • If the parents are married, the passport application form must be signed by both parents and the child and both parents should be in attendance when the application is submitted.
  • Please note that the child and both parents should be in attendance when the application is submitted to the nearest Home Affairs office or SA Mission/Consulate. If a parent cannot be in attendance, a letter of consent and copy of ID will no longer be accepted.
  • If divorced and sole parental rights and responsibilities in regard to guardianship have not been granted to one parent, the child and both parents should be in attendance when the application is submitted and both must sign the application form.
  • If a parent is deceased, his or her death certificate and a copy thereof must accompany the application for the passport
  • In the case of minors born out of wedlock, the biological father’s consent will also be required if any of the circumstances as outlined in section 21 of the Children’s Act, 1995, are applicable, the child and both parents should be in attendance when the application is submitted.
  • If the applicant is in the care of a guardian other than the parents, proof of the High Court’s appointment must accompany the application.
  • If a parent cannot be located or refuses to consent, or a dispute concerning consent arises, the matter should be referred to the Children’s Court. The Court’s decision must be submitted with the application for the passport.
  • The child’s South African birth certificate and a copy thereof
  • Two colour passport photographs that comply with the Passport and ID Photograph Specifications (NOT needed at smartcard offices as ID images are captured digitally)
  • Payment of the prescribed passport fee 

ALSO SEE: Warning: Your passport 'expires' three months before it expires!

Similarly, if you need to apply for you own passport - you can follow these steps and tips: 

Do it online

With the country moving forward through digitisation and the introduction of the eHomeAffairs system, you can now renew your passport or apply for an ID online - a virtual and far more efficient experience! See the full story here.  

Things sure have improved too for the passport renewal process, which can take up to a 1 week or 10 days, depending on where you apply. Home affairs will also update you with SMS notifications when your passport is ready for collection.

Please note, you will need internet banking to proceed with your online passport application and will have to go to a Home Affairs branch to capture their biometrics and collect their passport.

ALSO SEE: #PassportGang: Passport nightmares that could see you making a 'u-turn' home

Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria residents have the option of recording their biometrics and collecting their renewed passport at specific Absa, FNB, Standard Bank or Nedbank branches - so the idea of standing in long lines are now a thing of the past.

However, if you don’t live in either of these places, you can use the eHome Affairs services, but you will need to go into Home Affairs to record your biometric data and to collect your passport or ID.

What you need

  • A copy of your ID
  • R400 for the passport
  • Access to internet banking


Step 1: Account registration

Register on the eHome Affairs website

Create a profile

Answer the simple security questions

Create a password

Capture the one time pin sent to your cellphone

Attach a copy of your ID

Step 2: Make a payment

Enter your account details on the site.

Log into your internet banking to authorise the payment – go to ‘My Bills’ under ‘Payments’ to initiate a payment instruction. 

Add the Department of Home Affairs as a beneficiary and a payment instruction will now appear under ‘My Bills’.

Enter your reference number and approve the payment of R400 to the Department of Home Affairs.

Step 3: Make an appointment

Once the Department of Home Affairs has registered that you have paid, you will be able to make an appointment to record your biometric data.

If you live in Cape Town, Johannesburg or Pretoria, you will be able to select a bank branch with the required facilities. If not, you will have to go to your local Home Affairs – this does not require an appointment.

If you are able to make an appointment at one of the bank branches you will be given a choice of time slots.

Select a time slot, after which will receive appointment confirmation via email and an SMS which you will need to take with you to the bank.

Step 4: Record your biometrics

Option 1: Home Affairs Branch

Once the Department of Home Affairs has registered your payment you will be eligible to proceed with your biometrics data – two thumbprints, a photo and your signature.

You do not need to make an appointment at Home Affairs. 

Simply go to your local branch to have your biometrics done.

You will need to take your ID book with you to the Home Affairs branch.

Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria residents can make an appointment for their biometrics at their local bank branch once their payment has been registered.

You will be given a choice of time slots. Once you’ve selected a time slot, you will be sent a confirmation via SMS and email.

You will need to take the confirmation email or SMS to the bank.

You will be given a choice of time slots. Once you’ve selected a time slot, you will be sent a confirmation via SMS and email.

Take your ID book and confirmation email or SMS with you when going to your local bank branch.

Step 5: Wait for an SMS or email

When your passport is ready for collection, you will receive notification. This should take roughly ten days.

Home Affairs has some handy information here in case you get stuck. 

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