Archive from July, 2019

South Africa’s healthcare system can’t afford to ignore migration

(MENAFN – The Conversation) Reflecting global trends, most migration in South Africa is internal – people moving between the country’s different provinces. South Africa is also home to a much smaller population of foreign-born migrants, mostly from countries that are part of the South African Development Community, who make up about4%of the total population.
Both internal migrants moving within the borders of the country and international migrants face daily stresses associated with the challenges of moving to a new area, seeking work, struggling to access safe housing and a secure livelihood, and – in some cases – feeling alone and without social support.
Both groups of migrants also face particular challenges when it comes to accessing healthcare. In the South African context this is exacerbated by historical disparities and a poorly functioning public healthcare system .
On top of this, the country is grappling with what’s known as the quadruple burden of disease– maternal, newborn and child health; HIV and tuberculosis (TB); non-communicable diseases; and violence and injury.
Population movements have implications for all four groups of disease meaning that migration needs to be considered in the development and implementation of all health system responses .
The problem is that the public health system isn’t engaging adequately with the movement of either internal South African migrants or foreign-born migrants. This affects everyone .
For example, efforts to control communicable diseases are undermined by the fact that the movement of people makes it hard for the health system – in its current form – to keep track of people’s medical records. Follow-up appointments are easily missed, and drug regimens may not be completed. The result is that the whole population is placed at an increased risk of acquiring a communicable disease.

The challenges
One major challenge is that South Africa’s healthcare facilities are unable to access health records of people moving within the country.
The result is that clerks and healthcare providers are forced to spend time trying to trace client records. Very often they can’t, and have to open a new file and begin the process again. Not only does this take up time, but it also means that the needs of all who migrate are compromised.
This has implications for accessing testing and treatment. Migrants struggle to continue treatment and care because health facilities in different locations are not linked, and – for those moving into and out of South Africa – treatment regimens across the region differ.
In the case of TB and HIV, long treatment regimens are needed and there’s a risk of treatment being disrupted due to migration. This has implications for resistance and – in the case of HIV – increasing the risk of onward transmission.
The consequences are dire for patients, as well as the broader population.
Tied to this is the fact that migrants may find themselves living and working in environments in which they are at higher risk of acquiring HIV than the general population. These include commercial farms, mining communities and urban informal settlements. In the context of migrant labour, many people work in dangerous and exploitative conditions, that are associated with occupational health risks including injuries linked to working in the mining and agricultural sectors.
Another challenge relates to antenatal care and childbirth. Many South African women living in urban areas choose to return to their rural homes to deliver their babies. This can lead to a chain of events that affect both the mother and the child. For example, women may miss antenatal care visits because they’ve moved away from the first clinic they visited. Then after the baby is born, it can mean that their babies aren’t entered into the vaccination system when they return to the city.
The movement of people also makes it hard for the country’s health system to respond to non-communicable diseases like heart disease and diabetes. These too require long-term, chronic treatment and support.
Added to this is the fact that migrants face multiple forms of violence . For foreign nationals, various forms of structural, physical, and verbal xenophobic violence are persistent.
Some international migrants may be undocumented and experience further stress due to fear of arrest, detention and deportation. This is further coupled with xenophobic violence – and the fear of violence – which negatively affects migrants’mental and psychosocial well being .
People seeking asylum based on sexual orientation or gender identity are also likely to experience violence in South Africa.

The next steps
South Africa’s health system needs to engage with migration. Developing a migration-aware health system will support the improvement of health for all in South Africa.
A migration-aware health system must have population movement embedded as a central concern in the design of policies and interventions.
South Africa could learn from the experiences of Sri Lanka. In 2010, the government of Sri Lanka commissioned a study to explore health impacts of inbound, outbound, and internal migrant flows. The study included the families left behind by migrants and contributed to the formulation of a National Migration Health Policy and national action plan.
Such an approach requires input from all sectors of society including government, academia and civil society. Sri Lanka developed a national migration and health research commission and provided opportunities for engagement between researchers, communities and policy makers. This led to evidence-informed interventions to support the health of different migrant groups.
By establishing a national migration and health task team, South Africa could develop a similar approach that engages with internal and international migration

Nationalisation of land not on the cards – presidential panel member

Although many opponents of expropriation of land without compensation equates this with nationalisation, and the EFF’s policy is that land should be nationalised, the Constitution currently does not provide for this, one of the members of the presidential panel of experts on land reform and agriculture, Bulelwa Mabasa, explained on Sunday as the panel’s report was introduced to the public.
The panel’s chairperson, Vuyokazi Mahlati, said its work was not just about Section 25 of the Constitution – the property clause – but it did work on proposals on when expropriation without compensation should apply.
She said the majority of the panel endorsed the view that Section 25 should be amended to allow expropriation without compensation.
“It is an inescapable fact that Section 25 is compensation-centric,” she said.
The panel found land redistribution should no longer be dependent on the willing buyer, willing seller principle.
She said expropriation is one of the levers or strategies to acquire land. The panel also suggested other strategies, like land donations.
It also recommended several circumstances when land should be expropriated without compensation.
Two members of the panel, Dan Kriek and Nic Serfontein, did not endorse the report and will provide their own report. The main reason for their opposition is expropriation without compensation. Their views are reflected in the panel’s report.
Asked if the panel has a finding on nationalisation of land, Mabasa said that to the panel’s understanding of law and the Constitution, there was no provision for the nationalisation of land.
“Nationalisation is not on the cards in the current Constitutional dispensation,” she said.
Among the panel’s other major recommendations are that there should be a focus on urban land reform and that government should develop an urban land reform policy.
It further recommends that government’s land reform policy should be consolidated and that a new white paper should be drafted.
The panel also believed that the Land Claims Court should be reformed as it did not fulfill the mandate for which it was created.
The panel stressed the importance of eradicating land corruption, and suggested the establishment of an office of a land rights protector – an ombudsman that could refer cases to the National Prosecuting Authority.
The panel calls for an end to farm evictions.
The panel also suggests that private titles for inhabitants of communal land should be avoided.
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza said: “In addressing the land question, government is not only addressing the historical legacy of dispossession but at the same time recognises the multifaceted role of land in the economy of the country as well as social development. Speedy delivery of land for human settlement will not only provide our people with houses as assets but also will ensure integrated spatial planning where we can work towards de-racialising our communities.”
She said the panel was appointed in September 2018 to advise government on circumstances in which the policy on expropriation without compensation will be implemented, what procedures to follow and institutions to enforce, as well as the rights of any affected persons, including the rights to judicial review.
The report was presented to cabinet on Wednesday and each government department has been given two months to study the report and come up with a plan for implementation.
Shortly after the panel and Didiza’s media briefing, the DA released a statement rejecting the panel’s report.
“Its suggestions are high-risk, and at best promise low-reward for those in need of meaningful land reform,” DA MP and spokesperson on agriculture, land reform and rural development Thandeka Mbabama said.
“The majority endorsement of land expropriation without compensation will further batter our ailing economy, and the suggestion to move land reform to the Presidency will undermine the entire department and the minister, and would move this crucial function to an office without the specialisations necessary to execute.”
Last year, the National Assembly adopted a motion to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation, despite the objections of opposition parties like the DA, FF Plus, IFP and ACDP.
This past week the National Assembly adopted a motion to appoint an ad hoc committee to draft this amendment.

Women lash out at home affairs after surname changes

A column by Sarah Wild in which she describes her ordeal of having her surname changed without her consent after getting married has sparked an outrage on social media, with many women claiming to have experienced the same problem.
In her piece, Wild relates how she found out her surname had been changed to that of her husband’s when she specifically expressed that she wanted to retain her surname when registering their marriage.
“When I contacted the Eastern Cape home affairs branch which processed my marriage, the official asked whether I loved my husband. Obviously, I didn’t love him if I wanted to keep my name,” Wild writes.
Wild writes she has found more than 200 women who had also had their names changed, despite ticking the box stating that they wanted to keep their birth name.
Home affairs officials also insisted on permission from women’s husbands or fathers to retain their surnames, according to Wild.
Her column drew a massive reaction from women who say they, too, had their surnames changed without their consent or being treated with condescension by home affairs officials when they requested to keep their surnames.
Candace Holland wrote in an email: “I got married in 2015 and never changed my surname to my husband’s surname. I kept my maiden name, Holland. We got divorced this year, 2019.
“[On Tuesday] I tried opening a Vodacom account and they told me that my name does not match my ID number given – they said my name is Candace Joshua at home affairs, and that I can only sign for my new phone and number when I have proof of ID in the name Candace Joshua. I have nothing in that name – everything is in the name Candace Holland.
“I don’t know what to do now – I need to apply for a new passport and this is all a big mess!”
On News24’s Facebook page, many readers echoed Holland’s conundrum.
You don’t love your husband
Samantha Reid wrote: “Been there and done that – the experience was humiliating. Was also told I didn’t love my husband because I refused to change my surname.”
Thea Bester-Swanepoel wrote: “It was a horrible thing for me to go through. To ask my husband, my equal, for permission, was humiliating and against everything I believe [in]. I am not a feminist per se, but even though our Constitution alleges that we are all equal, apparently we are not. At home affairs, the official treated me with disdain; asked if I am too important to take my husband’s name and discard my unmarried surname (I requested a double-barrel). She asked me if I don’t care how that emasculates my husband. And that was just the start.”
Other women reported that they managed to keep their surnames after marriage without a glitch.
Section 26(2) of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992, states: “A woman may assume her husband’s surname, or revert to her maiden surname or a prior surname she legally bore, and since 1997 a woman may also join her surname with that of her husband’s as a double-barrelled surname. No application to the Department of Home Affairs is necessary in these instances.”
News24 attempted to get hold of Home Affairs spokesperson David Hlabane over the course of two days. Calls and WhatsApp messages went unanswered.
Another spokesperson, Siya Qosa, earlier told News24 that the choice of surname following marriage remains that of the person concerned.

Integrity investigation ordered into Government and Crown Casino handing of foreign visitors

Commonwealth authorities and Crown Casino will face an integrity investigation amid allegations about efforts to lure Chinese gamblers to Australia.
Crown has been the subject of a Nine News investigation that made a series of allegations about the company’s conduct and its relationship with government agencies.
Key points:
• The Department of Home Affairs says it has “stakeholder arrangements” for the quick processing of short stay visas
• Its agreement with Crown ran from 2003 to 2016
• Crown is facing allegations about the company’s attempts to attract Chinese gamblers to Australia
Attorney-General Christian Porter said there were “sufficient concerns” to warrant further examination and he had referred the matter to the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity.
Earlier in the day, the Federal Government confirmed it previously had an agreement with Crown Casinos to fast-track short-stay visa applications for Chinese visitors.
Mr Porter announced the referral as crossbench MPs pushed for Parliament to investigate the matter.
“I have considered the allegations that have been raised in the media reporting, and particularly as they touch upon allegations which are either directly relatable to or tangentially relatable to Commonwealth officers,” Mr Porter told Parliament.
“It’s my view that there are sufficient concerns raised at least to warrant further investigations.”
Mr Porter said his decision to refer the matter to the commission did not suggest he had any evidence that supported allegations against Commonwealth authorities.
“Rather it’s the case that Section 18 of the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act might be called a precautionary referral provision,” he said.
Mr Porter said the commission was the most appropriate body to consider the allegations and had the ability to “hold hearings, exercise coercive powers and seize evidence”.
“They have very significant investigatory powers, very significantly stronger than those of a parliamentary committee, obviously including the ability to apply for search warrants, issue notices that attract a criminal penalty, if not complied with.”
Mr Porter made the announcement after independent MP Andrew Wilkie moved a motion calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the issue.
Mr Wilkie, speaking in the House of Representatives, said his office had spoken to “another whistleblower” who was a former driver for Crown in Melbourne.
“He recounts there were no Border Force checks, foreign nationals getting off with up to 15 bags for a short stay, stopping only on the way to the casino to pick up a sex worker,” Mr Wilkie said.
“On breaking the law, this new whistleblower said and I quote, “Crown is Crown. No one touches Crown, you know there is no law at Crown”.
“You literally get what you want and you do what you want. Money talks.”
Mr Wilkie told the Parliament of the perception Crown had with police officers he’d spoke with.
“I now know of three police officers, two currently serving, who have openly said to my staff that in Victoria, Crown is regarded as The Vatican – an independent sovereign state all to its own where the laws of Victoria and the laws of the Commonwealth do not apply,” he said.
In a statement, a Crown spokesperson said the company would assist with any investigation.
However, the spokesperson said Crown “absolutely rejects allegations of illegality made in Parliament today and in recent media reporting”.
“We believe these allegations are ill-informed and an attempt to smear the company,” the statement reads.
“If there is any evidence of unlawful conduct, we encourage individuals or organisations to contact the relevant authorities.”
Department admits to stakeholder deal
The Department of Home Affairs confirmed it has “stakeholder arrangements” with a number of large international organisations for the quick processing of short stay visas, but insisted there was no special treatment given to applicants.
“The arrangement with Crown Casinos was put in place in 2003. The arrangement was last affirmed by the Minister in June 2011 and ceased in 2016,” a spokesperson for the department said.
“There is no reduced vetting in certain locations or for certain applicants. Our offices in China are well aware of the risks that may be present in their caseloads and they scrutinise and manage applications accordingly.
“There is no discretion to waive legislative checks or requirements and the department has no evidence that this has occurred.”
Former Australian Border Force chief Roman Quaedvlieg told Channel Nine that two federal ministers and a backbencher lobbied his agency to make it easier for Chinese gamblers to enter Australia on private jets.
Mr Quaedvlieg was sacked last year after an investigation found he helped his girlfriend try to secure a job within his department at Sydney Airport.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews defended the performance of the state’s gambling regulator saying that anyone with complaints about the Melbourne casino should speak to authorities.
“If you’ve got an issue, if you’ve got a concern… then you can with confidence, go to the VCGLR [Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation] the independent regulator, give them that detail, put that forward. And it’ll be treated seriously,” he said.
Crown Casino in Melbourne is the biggest single-site employer in the state, but the Premier said that did not make it above the law.
“No-one gets a free pass on their legislative requirements, no-one gets a free pass on integrity and probity. When it comes to this industry or any industry,” Mr Andrews said.
Calls for parliamentary inquiry into Crown
Mr Wilkie’s call for a parliamentary inquiry into the allegations raised by Channel Nine was supported by crossbench senator Jacqui Lambie and the Greens.
Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles said the Opposition would not rule out supporting an inquiry, but demanded an explanation from Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
Labor was in power in 2011 when the visa arrangement with Crown was last affirmed.
“There are a number of serious allegations in what’s been broadcast over the last couple of days and whether there’s an inquiry or not, what we need to hear from is the Minister for Home Affairs and he needs to be explaining exactly what’s happened here,” Mr Marles said.
Mr Dutton is in London at a meeting of the Five Eyes intelligence partners.
On Monday, Attorney-General Christian Porter said he had not seen Channel Nine’s story but expected to be briefed on the matter “shortly”.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament it was a “serious topic” that dealt with “the integrity not only of our gaming industry, but of issues that go to law enforcement and border protection in this country”.
“Everyone is required to abide by Australian law, and that includes casino operators, public officials, and all visitors to our country,” he said in Question Time.
Crown issued a statement on Monday saying it took its legal and regulatory responsibilities “very seriously”.
“Crown has a comprehensive anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing program which is subject to regulatory supervision by AUSTRAC,” it said in a statement.
“As referred to above, Crown takes its regulatory obligations very seriously and works closely with all of its regulatory agencies, including law enforcement, both state and federal.
“Crown has a robust process for vetting junket operators with whom it deals and undertakes regular ongoing reviews of these operators in the light of new or additional information that comes to its attention.”

No papers but a home: Somali women take on South Africa’s property market

JOHANNESBURG (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – In the hallway of a large, brick-face apartment block in Johannesburg, Halima Jawahir greets her tenants, a group of six Somali women drying their henna-painted hands in the sunlight streaming through the windows.
After fleeing ongoing civil war in her native Somalia in 2016, Jawahir is now reinventing herself as a property mogul in the Mayfair neighborhood in Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city.
She rents an entire building of more than 100 flats from a South African landlord, before sub-dividing them into rooms, and subletting them to other mainly Somali and Ethiopian refugees.
But as a refugee without documentation, Jawahir is also breaking the law by subletting flats – a risk worth taking, she said, to save up enough to one day own her own property.
“I am a widow, so I have to look after myself,” said the 45-year-old, adjusting her green hijab as she sat on the couch in her second-floor flat.
The United Nations estimates that at least 30,000 Somali refugees live in South Africa.
The country is wrestling with a massive backlog of asylum applications, according to human rights groups, leaving many refugees waiting months or even years for the authorization to work, go to school and find a place to live.
Faced with this legal and economic uncertainty, some Somali women are challenging social norms and navigating the male-dominated property market in the hope that, one day, they will have the security that comes with owning a place of their own.
Jawahir’s building is one of about a dozen properties in Mayfair that are being rented and then sublet by Somali refugee women, according to the Somali Community Board of South Africa.
For renters, subletting provides a stable source of income, and for their tenants it is often the only way they can afford a place to live, said Jawahir.
This is especially true for refugee women, many of whom are running their households and raising their children alone as they wait in limbo to be granted refugee status.
“Undocumented migrants do not qualify for government housing or subsidies and the impact of this overburdens mothers,” said Tiffany Ebrahim, a researcher at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa, a human rights organization.
“And the private (housing) market is inaccessible because it is so expensive, forcing people to fall back on solutions that are temporary with little security of tenure.”
Jawahir, whose name was changed to protect her identity, said that “as refugees and as women, we are always hustling”.
Jawahir left Mogadishu for South Africa in 2016, after men robbed her at gunpoint at her home, killing both of her parents.
“One bullet is still in my elbow,” she said, pointing to scars across her arms and legs. “It makes it difficult to lift heavy things.”
Once she was settled in Mayfair – a neighborhood so popular with the Somali diaspora that it is known as Little Mogadishu – Jawahir took the same route as other female Somali refugees in the area and set up her own business subletting flats.
To supplement the rental income, she uses her contacts in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and East Africa to import perfumes, jewelry, honey, and shoes to sell in both stores and markets in Mayfair. She also sells cellphone credit to passersby.
At the end of each month, Jawahir said she sends about $350 home to her family in Mogadishu, the Somalian capital.
Any extra money is put aside for future needs, including the possibility of one day buying the property she now rents out.
“If my husband was alive, he would be happy for me,” Jawahir said. “Look at me, I am alone but empowered. I did this all by myself.”
Although subletting is legal in South Africa, doing so without proper documentation showing asylum or refugee status could lead to evictions – for both the original tenant and the subletter, Jawahir explained.
And many have no other option, noted Abigail Dawson from the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa.
“We find that it is easier for many to fly under the radar, as the process of becoming ‘legal’ is such hard work,” she said, referring to the backlog of refugee status appeals not yet processed by the government.
The Department of Home Affairs and the South Africa Human Rights Commission were not available for comment.
For Somali women in South Africa, many of whom lack a basic education and have no legitimate job prospects, the risk of subletting to others is worth it for the chance to one day own their own home, said Omar Muhammad from the Somali Community Board.
“Many of them (Somali refugees) cannot even speak English, so have little freedom to find opportunities outside their community,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in his office in Mayfair.
“Property ownership is a dream for many, because it would mean full independence.”
The benefits that refugees get from owning property are not limited to money, added Ebrahim from the Socio-Economic Rights Institute.
“Location is everything,” she said. “Having a secure place to live could be linked to accessible hospitals, schools, economic opportunities and most importantly, social networks that are needed in difficult times.”
Indhonuroon Farah brought her five children to South Africa from Somalia 10 years ago, after her husband was killed in clashes between Somali clans when returning from work.
She managed to secure her refugee documentation soon after – this was before the height of the application backlog – which meant she could send her children to school.
“I arrived here with nothing and no one,” said Farah, sitting behind the counter of her shop in Mayfair, where she sells fabrics, shoes, Kenyan honey and beaded bracelets.
“I would sell goods in townships all over South Africa and eventually made enough money to buy a property in Somalia,” she said, adding that it is more socially acceptable and affordable for women to own property in her home country.
She now rents that property out for extra income. Eventually, she wants to do the same in her adopted home.
“If I had more money, I would buy in South Africa too,” she said. “Then when I die, I would have something to give my children here.”
As she spoke, an elderly beggar walked into her shop on crutches, asking for donations. Farah paused to open a drawer and pulled out a bag of porridge for the man.
“If you have something, you must share with others,” she said, smiling.
“This is just how women must think. We can be mothers, shop owners, or landlords. It is how we have gotten through harder times.”

Here are the changes for I.D books and birth certificates at Home Affairs

The Department of Home Affairs has released details on how to change your personal information in your I.D document and birth certificate. Here’s what you need to know.
Home Affairs has made an announcement regarding certain rectifications, amplifications and amendments of personal information of individuals in South Africa.
If South African citizens need to have their I.D books and birth certificates re-registered and changed with new information, they have the right to do so as stated by the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992 (Act No. 51 of 1992) read with the Identification Act, 1997 (Act No. 68 of 1997).
Here are some of the provisions for the amendment:
1. Re-registering a child born out of wedlock
A child registered as born out of wedlock, whose parents later marry after the birth has been registered, may be re-registered as born within wedlock. Form BI-59 must be completed and submitted with proof of the marriage to any Home Affairs domestic office. Both parents must sign the said form in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths.
Applications for the insertion of a forename or surname in a birth register of a person registered without a forename or surname must be done with a BI-795 form.
2. Inserting the biological father’s particulars in the birth register of a child born out of wedlock
Both parents must complete the BI-1682 form and submit it to any domestic Home Affairs office. If the mother refuses her consent to the insertion, the father may apply to a High Court for exemption of the mother’s consent.
3. Altering a forename (Section 24 of Births and Deaths Registration Act)
The BI-85 form must be completed in order to change a forename(s). Tariffs vary for majors and for persons who have not entered into a legal marriage or who have not been declared as majors in terms of the Age of Majority Act.
Altering the surname of a minor (section 25 of Births and Deaths Registration Act)
You can change the surname of a minor:
• If a child is born out of wedlock and the mother marries a person other than the child’s biological father and wishes to change the child’s surname to that of her husband.
• If a mother, after her divorce from or the death of her husband (father of the child), wishes to change the child’s surname to her maiden surname or to another surname she bore legally; or if she has remarried, to the surname of her new husband.
• If a child is born out of wedlock but registered under the biological father’s surname and the mother wishes to change the child’s surname to hers.
• If a minor is under the care of a guardian and the guardian wishes to change the child’s surname to his/hers.
• Other situations not mentioned above where a good and sufficient reason for the change exists.
Applications must be on a completed BI-193 form.
• The natural father’s written consent, unless waived by a competent court, is a statutory requirement in the case where the child was born in wedlock.
• The mother’s husband, whose surname the child is to assume, must also give his written consent to the assumption.
• Both the natural parents’ written consent is required as well as a good and sufficient reason, in writing, for the change.

4. Assuming a different surname (Section 26 of Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992)
A woman may assume her husband’s surname, or revert to her maiden surname or a prior surname she legally bore, and since 1997 a woman may also join her surname with that of her husband’s as a double-barrelled surname.
No application to the Department of Home Affairs is necessary for these instances, but to enable the Department to update the Population Register, women should notify the Department of such changes in writing.
Applications must be made with a BI-196 form and a good and sufficient reason, in writing, for the change, must be made.

5. Changing gender
In terms of section 27(A) read with the provisions of the Alteration of Sex Description and Sex Status Act, 2003 (Act No.49 of 2003).
Applications can be made by:
Persons who have undergone a sex-change operation or medical treatment resulting in their gender reassignment. In such cases two medical reports are required:
1. One by the medical practitioner who applied the procedure or medical treatment or by a medical practitioner who has experience in such procedures or treatments, and
2. A report by a second medical practitioner who has independently examined the application to established his/her gender.

6. Intersexed persons
In this category, the applicant must submit:
• a report by a medical practitioner corroborating that the applicant is intersexed, as well as
• a report by a qualified psychologist or social worker corroborating that the applicant is living and has lived stably and satisfactorily, for an unbroken period of at least two years in the gender role corresponding to the sex description under which he or she seeks to be registered
Applications must be on a BI-526 form or a written request, accompanied by the required medical reports

7. Rectifying the date of birth, gender or place of birth in the birth register
Should any information contained within a document issued by the Department of Home Affairs be incorrect as a result of a departmental error, the error will be corrected free of charge.
However, if the mistake was on the part of the applicant, correction of the information will have to be applied for by completing the BI-526 form and the prescribed fee must be paid. Submission of proof of the correct information is a prerequisite in such instances

Key takeouts from the home affairs budget vote

Deputy home affairs minister zeroes in on immigration, visa requirements and modernising the department
During the home affairs budget vote on July 10, deputy minister of home affairs Njabulo Bheka Nzuza emphasised the department’s purpose, the services it offers its people and responsibilities required to fulfil its important role and to serve to the people.
These are the main points he made in his speech:
The department of home affairs is the only department that can:
• affirm or grant citizenship to foreign nationals;
• grant non-South Africans authority to enter or leave SA;
• allow non-South Africans access to work, study or to do business in SA through its visa regime;
• grant asylum seekers a refugee status in the republic; and
• designate a port of entry to facilitate movement of people and goods in and out of the country, opening a gateway to international trade.
“These are tasks we must execute with high level of consciousness that a compromised immigration system results in a compromised country. Our immigration system has a direct impact on our national security and the economy.
“If we want a world-class home affairs with world-class immigration systems, we must be comfortable to discuss discomforting issues. The Greek mathematician Archimedes teaches us that ‘the shortest distance between two points is a straight line’. To solve our problems, we must be upfront, frank and direct,” said Nzuza.
He said that SA is today a great place to live in and many people in the world aspire to live and work in the country and to be South Africans; and laws that have been developed are humane, business friendly and go beyond just conforming to international standards on immigration.
“We do not run refugee camps but we allow integration of refugees to local communities.
“We give refugees the same rights as citizens except for the right to vote. They have access to our social services such as basic health and social grants,” said Nzuza.
“SADC countries do not require a visa but only a passport to visit SA. We do not deny foreign nationals to work, study and to do business in SA provided they comply with the Immigration Act and related legislation.”
The white paper on international migration of 2017 states: “International migration in general is beneficial if it is managed in a way that it is efficient, secure and respectful of human rights. In general nations flourish where people with different origins, skills, resources and cultures are able to live work and trade peacefully.”
Nzuza said that despite these open and friendly channels of migration, there are still those who enter the country illegally, undermining the sovereignty of SA.
In an operation conducted at the Marian Hill and Tongaat toll plazas in KwaZulu-Natal between July 1 and 7 2019, 39 foreign nationals were caught driving trucks without permits and the legal status to be in the country. One employer has already been charged and more arrests are imminent.
Nzuza said: “We will curb the appetite of employers to employ undocumented foreign nationals all in the name of profits. They must know that when they break the law and employ illegal immigrants they will face the consequences and our inspectorate unit.
“The major reason why they do this is because they seek to maximise their profits by abusing foreign nationals by paying them below market value salaries because they know they are in the country illegally. This can no longer be allowed to continue. We will fight the corruption that allows people and goods to enter the country illegally.
“We have a serious responsibility to capacitate our inspectorate and allocate the necessary funding in order to enforce immigration laws that decisively deal with illegal immigration and its impact on our economy, social security spend and national security.”
The department will also make an effort to improve efficiency in refugee reception centres. Its Advanced Passenger Processing System allows the department to see and target undesirable visitors before they even board a flight from their destination, and stop undesirable visitors for purposes of national security.
Nzuza said the National Targeting Centre profiles trusted travellers and registers them in the e-gates system which will open for them automatically when they present themselves at airports of entry. The system also conducts risk assessments on visitors after they have boarded flights as a secondary control system. This ensures undesirable and risky visitors are kept at bay, to create a secure environment for the country.