Proof of paternity may not be enough to register fathers in South Africa

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is challenging sections of the Birth and Death Registrations Act which allows the fathers of children born out of wedlock to decide whether they can be registered as the father and if the child can carry their surname.

As the Act stands, it stipulates the following:

  • The father’s written consent and physical presence is required by Home Affairs officials in order for them to be registered as a father – even if a paternity test has already confirmed this.

  • A child could not be registered with a surname other than the mother’s, unless the father has consented.

  • In the absence of this consent, the father will be documented as unknown.

Challenging the legislation

Tammy Carter, who is the senior legal services officer at the SAHRC, says that the problem with the law is that it is inconsistent with Constitutional standards of equality and with the rights of children and women.

Home Affairs are bound by the provisions of The Act and cannot make any corrections to birth certificates not outlined by the existing law. On Tuesday, 14 April, together with the Center for Child Law and Women’s Legal Center, the SAHRC are taking Section 10 and 11 to be reviewed in court.

National Spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs, Mayihlome Tshwete says that the department is relooking the stance of the legislation. He advised that they are considering changing the standard operating procedures by Home Affairs officials to accommodate for concessions.

Home Affairs is also advocating for a better family tree in South Africa; to know the mother and the father of a child.

Listeners share their views

Kevin in Bedforview, from an organisation called Fathers in Africa (that he says often works closely with Sonke Gender Justice), expressed that this was a gender equality issue. H e says that women are not given the choice to go unnamed on birth certificates.

Why do we give fathers the right to abdicate responsibility, when they have clearly impregnated somebody? What the law is saying is that you can choose not to be the father of the child.

Lesley in Saxonwold says that there should be different categories of registration for different parental relationships that fathers may choose to have with their children.

Listen to the full conversation on the Redi Tlhabi show:


This article first appeared on 702 : Proof of paternity may not be enough to register fathers in South Africa


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Feel like you're losing it? How to tell if you're a victim of gaslighting

Feel like you're losing it? How to tell if you're a victim of gaslighting

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse that will have you feeling like you're going crazy, a clinical psychologist explains.

Panyaza Lesufi: ANC has mismanaged the Julius Malema phenomenon

Panyaza Lesufi: ANC has mismanaged the Julius Malema phenomenon

Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi speaks about the state of Education in GP and ANC affairs in the province.

Technobyte: A man who got fired by a machine

Technobyte: A man who got fired by a machine

Tech guru Aki Anastasiou speaks to a man fired by technology and news that Instagram will be introducing hour long videos.

Preview into 'Khwezi...Say my name' - the play

Preview into 'Khwezi...Say my name' - the play

Poet and playwright Napo Masheane provides insight into her play based on Redi Thlabi's book.

Ever wondered why you go for that slice of cake...even when you're full?

Ever wondered why you go for that slice of cake...even when you're full?

Chris Smith, better known as The Naked Scientist, answers this and other questions from listeners.

Ever wanted to know who funds political parties? Now you can

Ever wanted to know who funds political parties? Now you can

The Concourt rules that political parties should disclose their private funders and donors.

Popular articles
Research probes citizens views on Cape water crisis

Research probes citizens views on Cape water crisis

The Global Water Leaders Group will present preliminary results of a study evaluating Cape Town's water crisis.

Canada has legalised marijuana, could South Africa follow suit?

Canada has legalised marijuana, could South Africa follow suit?

Independent Journalist Kevin Bloom says its part of a global movement towards the recognition of the plant's properties.

SIU report: Corrupt and fraudulent dealings worth R1.2 billion in Gauteng health

SIU report: Corrupt and fraudulent dealings worth R1.2 billion in Gauteng health

The report reveals that former Gauteng Health MEC Brian Hlongwa and 11 others are involved in the irregular expenditure.

Cape dam levels on the rise, but not all clear yet

Cape dam levels on the rise, but not all clear yet

This week, the overall dam levels are at 40.9% of total storage capacity and there was an increase of 8.8 percentage points.

What was Mabuza's business with Putin? Sikonathi Mantshantsha asks

What was Mabuza's business with Putin? Sikonathi Mantshantsha asks

Sikonathi Mantshantsha echoes Parliament's sentiments in wanting to know what was discussed during David Mabuza's visit to Russia.

Medical Aid Scheme Amendment Bill to boot out medical aid co-payments

Medical Aid Scheme Amendment Bill to boot out medical aid co-payments

Acting Chief Executive and Registrar for medical schemes, Dr Sipho Kabane, explains what the Amendment Bill entails.

First-ever CT shooter gets probation thanks to ShotSpotter gunfire tech

First-ever CT shooter gets probation thanks to ShotSpotter gunfire tech

The City of Cape Town welcomes the first-ever ShotSpotter-linked conviction and sentence, handed down this month.

Damning audio of Tom Moyane instructing Sars official to fake illness emerges

Damning audio of Tom Moyane instructing Sars official to fake illness emerges

The instruction from Moyane to the official was to allegedly avoid speaking to KPMG investigators during 'rogue unit' inquiry.

Woman exposed for calling fellow aircraft passengers the K-word

Woman exposed for calling fellow aircraft passengers the K-word

Reverend Solomuzi Mabuza says he is considering laying charges against the woman for calling him a ka***r.

Celebrity chef Siba Mtongana gets vulnerable, opens up about money

Celebrity chef Siba Mtongana gets vulnerable, opens up about money

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Mtongana about her attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).