New child travel law delayed

The rule requires children’s parents to present unabridged birth certificates at customs.

FILE: Home Affairs extended the deadline for new immigration law that requires adults travelling with children to carry an unabridged birth certificate. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Home Affairs has extended the implementation date of a new rule that will affect people travelling with children during the upcoming school holidays.

The rule requires children or adults travelling with children to carry the child's unabridged birth certificate as well as passport when travelling in and out of South Africa.

In light of the new law, many have raised the concern that applications for the documents could take up to eight weeks to be processed.

The Department's Ricardo Abrams says parents will have to comply with this requirement from 1 September instead of the initial July deadline.

"Taking school holidays into account, the department have extended the requirement of an unabridged birth certificate until September. So that means people can still travel under the normal processes until that time."

Travel agents have also voiced concern about changes to the immigration law.

The Association of Southern African Travel Agents CEO Otto de Vries says he is grateful for the extension.

"We hope that the next steps will be engagement by the Department of Home Affairs along with the travel and tourism sector around trying to find a workable solution."