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Travelling with children: Regulations will apply over festive season

Minors travelling to and from South Africa will still be required to present an unabridged birth certificate.

FILE:  The law, which came into effect earlier this year, was met with harsh criticism. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Home Affairs has issued a reminder ahead of the holiday period that the regulations specific to travelling with children have not changed.

Minors travelling to and from South Africa will still be required to present an unabridged birth certificate over the festive season.

The law, which came into effect earlier this year, was met with harsh criticism.

Home affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni says in the event that one parent is not travelling, an affidavit confirming parental consent to travel will be required.

"For all the children under the age of 18 years, including unaccompanied minors, an unabridged birth certificate is still required. This is in addition to the requirement for a valid passport and visas where applicable."

Last week, the department refuted claims that it was dragging its feet in implementing changes to its visa regulations.

In October, an inter-ministerial committee announced changes to the laws that require biometric testing and the presentation of an unabridged birth certificate for children travelling into South Africa.

The department was accused of stalling the implementation of changes that will see the amendment of both these requirements.

Since the new laws came into effect in June, the tourism sector has reported significant losses which experts say are worse than expected.