South African Citizenship Amendment Act

Link to law: http://www.gov.za/documents/south-african-citizenship-amendment-act-1
Published: 2010-12-07

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South African Citizenship Amendment Act 17 of 2010
Please note that most Acts are published in English and another South African official language. Currently we only have capacity to publish the English versions.
This means that this document will only contain even numbered pages as the other language is printed on uneven numbered pages.


Government Gazette
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

Vol. 546 Cape Town 7 December 2010 No. 33850
THE PRESIDENCY No. 1173 7 December 2010
It is hereby notified that the President has assented to the following Act, which is hereby published for general information:–
No. 17 of 2010: South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 2010.
























2 No. 33850
Act No. 17 of 2010
GOVERNMENT GAZETTE. 7 DECEMBER 2010
SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT, 2010
GENERAL EXPLANATORY NOTE:
Words in bold Iype in square brackels indicatc omissions from existing enactments.
Words underlined wilh a solid line indicate insertions in existing enactments.
(English text signed by the President.) (Assented to 3 December 2010.)
ACT To amend the South African Citizenship Act, 1995, so as to substitute, insert or delete certain definitions; to revise the provisions relating to acquisition or citizenship by birth, descent and naturalisation; to repeal or to substitute certain obsolete references; and to effect certain technical corrections; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
BE IT ENACTED by Ihe Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, asfollows,- Substitution of Chapter 1 of Act 88 of 1995
1. The following Chapter is hereby substituted for Chapter I of the South African Citizenship Act, 1995 (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act); 5
"Chapter 1
Definitions and Interpretation [and Application] of Act
Definitions
1. [(1)] In this Act, unless Ihe conlexl olherwise indicates- [(i) 'alien' means a person who is not a South African citizen; (xviii) 10 (ii) 'customary union'means the association ora man and a woman in
a conjugal relationship according to indigenous law and cnstom, where neither the man nor the woman is party to a subsisting marriage, which is recognised by the Minister in terms of section 1(4) of this Act; (v)] 15 'Children's Act' means the Children's Act, 2005 (Act No, 38 of 2005); 'Constitution' means the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996;
[(iii)] 'Department' means the Deparlmcnt of Home AIIairs; [(i)] 20 'foreigner' means a person who is not a South Afrkan citizen;
[(iv)] 'fonner states' means- (a) the former Republic of Transkei as referred to in the Status of
Transkei Act, 1976 (Act No. 100 of 1976);




























4 No. 33850
Act No, 17 of 2010
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SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT, 2010
(h) the former Republic of Bophuthatswana as referred to in the Status of Bophuthatswana Act, 1977 (Act No, 89 of 1977);
(e) the formcr Republic of Venda as referred to in the Sialus of Venda Act, 1979 (Act No. 107 of 1979); and
(d) the former Republic of Ciskei as referred to in the Status of 5 Ciskei Act, 1981 (Act No, 1\0 of 1981); [(xvi)
(v) 'husband' includes a busband in a customary union; (ii)] 'Immigration Act' means the Immigration ACI, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002);
[(vi)J 'major' means any person who has attained the age of [21] ~ ycars 10 [or wbo bas uuder tbe provisions of sectiou 2 of the Age of Majority Act, 1972 (Act No. 57 of 1972), been declared to be a major, and includes a person under the age of 21 years who has contracted a legal marriage; (vii)
(vii)] 'marriage' [iucludes a customary uuiou] mcans- 15 (a) a marriage concluded in lerms of-
(i) Ihe Marriage Act, 1961 (Act No, 25 of 1961); or (ii) the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, 1998 (Act
No. 120 of 1998); (h) a civil union concluded in terms of the Civil Union Act, 2006 20
(Act No. 17 of 2006); or (e) a marriage concluded in tenns of the laws of a foreign country;
[(vii) (viii) J 'Minister' means the Minister of Home Affairs; [(x)
(ix)] 'minor' [or 'minor child'J means any person who is not a major; 25 [(ix)] 'permanent residence' means permanent residence in tenns of the Immigration Act; 'permanent resident' means a person having permanent residence status in terms of the Immigration Act; 30
[(x)] 'prescribed' means prescribed by regulation; [(xv) (xi)] 'prior law' means any law repealed by section 26; [(xvii)
(xii)] 'regulation' means a regulation made under section 23; [(xi) (xiii)] 'responsible parent' means a parent [as] contemplated in [sectiou 1
of the Guardianship Act, 1993 (Act No. 192 of 1993)J Chapter 3 of 35 the Children's Act; [(xiv)
(xiv)] 'spouse' [includes a spouse in a customary union] means a person who is a parly to a marriage recognised in tenns of this Act; [(iv)
(xv)] 'this Act' includes the Schedules to the Act and the regulations [; (vi) (xvi) 'wife' includes a wife in a customary union. (iii)], 40
Interpretation of Act
[(2)J~ For the purposes ofthis Act, unless clearly inconsistent with the provisions of this Act~ (a) any reference in this Act to entrance into the Republic, to permanent
residence in the Republic, to any period of residence or ordinary 45 residencc in the Republic or to any period of absence from the Republic, shall be construed to include any entrance into, residence in or absence from the Republic of South Africa or any of the former states as they had existed immediately prior to the commencement of the Constitulion; 50
(h) the expressions 'in the Republic' and 'outside the Republic' shall be construed as if tbe fonner states were part of the former Republic of South Africa, whenever it has to he determined whether any event or action which occurred or took place prior to the commencement of the Constitution, occurred or took place in or outside the Republic; and 55
(e) the expression 'Government of the Republic' shall be construed to include the governments of the former states whenever it has to be determined if a person was in the service of the Government of the Republic prior to the commencement of the Constitution.
[(3)J ill For the purposes of this Act- 60
































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(a) a person born aboard a registered ship or aircraft shall be deemed to have been born at the place where the ship or aircraft is registered, and a person born aboard an unregistered ship or aircraft belonging to the Government of any country shall be deemed to have been born in that country; 5
(b) a person- 0) to whom an exemption from [the prohibition mentioned in
section 23(a) of the Aliens Control Act, 1991 (Act No. 96 of (991)] compliance with visa requirements in terms of section lOA of the Immigration Act, has been granted unconditionally 10 and for an unspecified period in terms of section [28(2)] IOA(4)(a) ofthatAct, whether as an individual or as a member of a category of persons; or
(ii) to whom [the said prohibition is not applicable by virtue of seetion 29(1)(a) or (e) of that Act] an exemption has been 15 granted in terms of section 31(3)(a) or (e) of the Immigration Act,
and who entered the Republic or is in the Republic for purposes of permanent rcsidcnce, shall be deemed to be or have been lawfully admitted to the Republic for permanent residence therein, or 20 permanently and lawfully residing in the Republic.
[(4)] (3) For the purposes of this Act~ (a) [A] i! customary [union shall be recognised by the Minister for the
purposes of this Act] marriage and a marriage concluded in terms of the laws ofa foreign country shall be recognised by the Minister, if the 25 Minister is satisfied, upon information submitted to him or her in the prescribed form by the applicant and such other person alleged to be the applicant's spouse in the [customary union] marriage concerned, that the applicant is in fact a spouse in the [customary union in question.] said marriage; and 30
(b) [The) the Minister may, in addition to any information submitted in terms of paragraph (a) or to clarify any information so submitted, call for further information to be submitted to him or her, or may call upon any person to appear before him or her and require or allow such person to give such oral information or produce such other informa- 35 tion as in the opinion of the Minister may assist him or her in deciding the matter in question. " .
Substitution of section 2 of Act 88 of 1995
2. The following section is hereby suhstituted for section 2 of the principal Act:
"Citizenship by birth
2. (I) Any person-
40
(a) who immediately prior to the date of commencement 0 the South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 2010, was a South African citizen by birth; or
(b) who is born in or outside the Republic, one of his or her parents, at the 45 time of his or her birth, being a South African citizen,
shall be a South African citizen by birth. (2) Any person born in the Republic and who is not a South African
citizen by virtue of the provisions of subsection (I) shall be a South African citizen by birth, if- 50 (a) he or she does not have the citizenship or nationality of any other
country. or has no right to such citizenship or nationality; and (b) his or her birth is registered in the Republic in accordance with the
Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992 (Act No. 51 of 1992).

































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(3) Any person born in the Republic of parents who have been admitted into the Republic for permanent residence and who is not a South African citizen, qualifies to be a South African citizen by birth, if- (a) he or she has lived in the Republic from the date of his or her binh to
the date of becoming a major; and 5 (b) his or her birth is registered in the Republic in accordance with the
Sinhs and Deaths Registration Act, 1992 (Act No. 51 of 1992).".
Substitution for section 3 of Act 88 of 1995, as amended by section 2 of Act 69 of 1997
3. The following section is hereby substituted for section 3 of the principal Act: 10
"Citizensbip by descent
3. Any person who is adopted in terms of the provisions of the Children's Act by a South African citizen and whose bil1h is registered in accordance with the provisions of the Sinhs and Deaths Registration Act, 1992 (Act No. 51 of 1992). shall be a South African citizen by descent.". IS
Substitntion of section 4 ofAct 88 of 1995, as amended by section 3 ofAct 69 of 1997
4. The following section is hereby substituted for section 4 of the principal Act:
"Citizenship by naturalisation
4. (1) Any person who- (a) immediately prior to the date of the commencement of the South 20
African Citizenship Amendment Act. 2010, was a South African citizen by naturalisation; or
(b) in tenns of this Act is granted a certificate of naturalisalion as a South African citizen in terms of section 5,
shall be a South African citizen by naturalisation. 25 (2) Any person referred to in subsection (I)(b) shall, with effect from the
date of the issue of the cenificate, be a South African citizen by naturalisation.
(3) A child born in the Republic of parents who are not South African citizens or who have not been admitted into the Republic for permanent 30 residence, qualifies to apply for South African citizenship upon becoming a major if- (a) he or she has lived in the Republic from the date of his or her binh to
the date of becoming a major; and (b) his or her binh has been registered in accordance with the provisions 35
of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992 (Act No. 51 of 1992)." .
Amendment of section 5 ofAct 88 of 1995, as amended by section 4 ofAct 69 of 1997
5. Section 5 of the principal Act is hereby amended- (a) by the substitution in subsection (I) for the words preceding paragraph (a) of 40
the following words: "The Minister may, upon application in the prescribed [form] manner, grant a certificate of naturalisation as a South African citizen to any [alien] foreigner who satisfies the Minister that-";
(b) by the substitution in subsection (I) for paragraphs (b) and (c) of the following 45 paragraphs, respectively:
"(b) he or she has been [lawfully] admitted to the Republic for permanent residence therein; and



































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(e) he or she is ordinarily resident in the Republic and that he or she has been so resident for a continuous period of not less than [one year) five years immediately preceding the date of his or her application[, and that he or she has, in addition, been resident in the Republic for a further period of not less than four years during the eight 5 years immediately preceding the date of his or her application]; and";
(el by the substitution in suhsection (I) for paragraph (gl of the following paragraph:
"(g) he or she has [an] adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and 10 privileges of South Ali-ican citizenshipl.]; and";
(d) hy the addition to suhsection (I) of the following paragraph: "(hi he or she is a citizen of a country that allows dual citizenship:
Provided that in the case where dual citizenship is not allowed by his or her country, such person renounces the citizenship of that 15 country and furnishes the Minister with the prescribed proof of such renunciation. ";
(el by the substitution for subsection (4) of the following subsection: "(41 (!OJ. The Minister may, notwithstanding the provisions of
subsection (II, upon application in the prescribed form [by the 20 responsible parent or the guardian] for a certificate of naturalisation in respect of a minor who is permanently and lawfully resident in the Republic, grant to that minor a certificate of naturalisation as a South African dtizcn.
(hi An application in terms of paragraph (a) must be made by the 25 responsible parent or the legal guardian of the minor concerned.";
(f) by the substitution for subsection (5) of the following subsection: "(5) The Minister may. notwithstanding the provisions of subsection
(I), upon application in the prescribed manner, grant a certificate of naturalisation as a South African citizen to a foreigner who satisfies the 30 Minister that he or she is the spouse or surviving spouse of a South African citizen and that he or she has been- (a) admitted to the Repuhlic for permanent residence; (h) ordinarily resident in the Republic for a preserihed period; and (el married to such citizen during the period contemplated in paragraph 35
!.!!l:."; and (gl by the suhstitution in suhsection (9) for paragraph (al uf the following
paragraph: "(al Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in subsection
(I ){Ll, the Minister may under exceptional circumstances grant a 40 certificate of naluralisation as South African citizen to an applicant who does not comply with the requirements of [the said] subsection (Ills! relating to residence or ordinary residence in the Republic.".
Amendment of section 6 of Act 88 of 1995
6. Section 6 of the principal Act is hereby amended by the addition of the following 45 subsection:
"(3) Any person who obtained South Ali-iean citizenship by naturalisation in terms ofthis Act shall cease to be a South Atrican citizen if he or she engages, under the flag of another country. in a war that the Republic does not support." .
Amendment nf section 8 of Act 88 of 1995 50
7. Section 8 of the principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution for subsection (3) of the following suhsection:
"(3) Whenever the Minister deprives a person of his or her South African citizenship under this section or section [9 or] 10, that person shall cease to be a South African citizen with e1t'ect from such date as the Minister may direct and 55 thereupon the certificate of naturalisation or any other certificate issued under this Act in relation to the status of the person concerned, shall be surrendered to the Minister and cancelled, and any person who refuses or fails on demand to surrender any such certi fleate which he or she has in his or her possession, shall be guilty of



























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an offence and liable on conviction to a flne or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding [two) five years, or to both such fine and imprisonment.",
Substitution of section 10 of Act 88 of 1995
8. The following section is hereby substituled for section 10 of the principal Act:
"Deprivation of citizenship in case of children 5
10. Whenever the responsible parent of a minor has in lerms of Ihe provisions of seclion [6, 8 or 9]6 or 8 ceased to he a South African citizen, the Minister may, with due regard 10 Ihe provisions of the [Guardianship Act, 1993 (Act No. 192 of 1993)1 Children's Act, order that such minor, if he or she was born outside the Republic and is under the age of 18 years, 10 shall cease to be a South African citizen.".
Amendment of section 11 of Act 88 of 1995, as amended by section 6 of Act 69 of 1997
9. Section II of the principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution for subsection (3) of the following subsection: 15
"(3) Whenever- (a) a South African citizen by naturalisation or registration ceased to be a South
African citizen by virtue of the provisions of any prior law; or (b) a South African citizen by naturalisation ceases to be a South African citizen
by virtue of the provisions of section 6, 7, 8[,9] or 10, 20 he or she shall, for the purposes of the [Aliens Control Act, 1991 (Act No. 96 of 1991)] Immigr'ttion Act, but subject to the provisions of subsection (4), be deemed to be [an alien] a foreigner who is not- (i) in possession or [is not] deemed to be in possession of a permit referred to in
section [25 or 26] 10(2) or 25(2) of that Act; or 25 (ii) in terms of section [28(2)] 31 (2)(a) of the said Act, exempted or deemed to be
exempted from the [prohibition in] provisions of section [23(a)]lQU2 of that Act." .
Amendment of section 13 of Act 88 of 1995, as amended by section 7 of Act 69 of 1997 30
10. Section 13 of the principal Act is hereby amended- (a) by the deletion of subsection (I); (b) by the substitution in subsection (3) for paragraph (a) of the following
paragraph: "(a) Any person who ceased to be a South African citizen by virtue of 35
the provisions of any prior law or by virtue of the provisions of section 9 as it existed immediately before its repeal by section I of the South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 2004 (Act No. 1701'2004), or who ceases to be a South African citizen by virtue of the provisions of section 6, 7, 8[,9] or 10 may- 40 (i) if he or she is not a person [as] referred to in section 11(3) and who
is residing in the Republic permanently or returns to the Republic for permanent residence therein, as the case may be; or
(ii) ifhe or she is a person as referred to in section II (3) and a permit for permanent residence referred to in section 25 of the [Aliens 45 Control Act, 1991 (Act No. 96 of 1991),] Immigration Act is issued to him or her,
apply to the Minister in the prescribed [form] manner for the resumption of his or her former South Afiican citizenship."; and










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(e) by Ihe substitution for subsection (4) of the following subsection: "(4) The provisions of section 5(7) shall [mutatis mutandis1 apply
with the changes reguired by the context in respect of a certificate referred to in subsection (3)(b).".
Substitution of certain words in Act 88 of 1995
II. The principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution for the words "alien" and "Supreme Court", wherever they occur, of the words "foreigner" and "High Court", respectively.
Short title and commencement
5
12. This Act is called the South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 2010, and 10 comes into operation on a date determined by the President by Proclamation in the Gazette.