Home Affairs hassle over baby's registration

2012-12-13 10:02

Johannesburg - The home affairs department is refusing to register the birth of a premature baby because he was born only seven months after his brother, according to a report on Thursday.

The parents of the 3-month old baby have been battling since his birth to get the department of home affairs to issue a birth certificate for their child, reported Beeld.

Baby Abraham Jacobus (Jaco) Smith was born premature, a mere seven months after the birth of his older brother, William, Beeld reported.

Parents Braam Smith, 43, and his wife, Suzette, from Komatipoort in Mpumalanga, were told by a government official at the mobile home affairs office at the hospital that they couldn't register their son.

This was because the system did not make provision for more than one baby per year to be registered to the same set of parents.

The official apparently said he would contact his head office in Pretoria to solve the problem, but to date there's been no resolution.

To complicate matters, he notified his medical aid about the problem, but until he presents them with a birth certificate, they won't cover his medical expenses, which currently stand at R1m.

The baby contracted a virus and had to be flown to Pretoria by helicopter, after which he spent a month in neo-natal ICU.

Home affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said the department was looking into the matter.

  • keith.recore - 2012-12-13 10:07

    hmmm,if reported accuratetly, will the new and improved HA demonstrate common sense and provide the proper service delivery? is it only after it hits the papers?

      janice.mcmaster.92 - 2012-12-13 10:52

      This is SA!!!!!

      amanda.vandenberg.758 - 2012-12-13 11:14

      And this is the department that was supposed to be running like a Rolls Royce engine . Dlamini Zuma still told Naledi Pandor to not mess it up when she was appointed as minister in Dlamini Zuma's position. ?????

      andrez.kolesky - 2012-12-13 11:47

      It can only be South African home affairs... I recently met a Chinese man and his name was Sipho Mthethwa. I asked: "How did you ever get a name like Sipho Mthethwa, being a Chinese man?" "A few years ago when come to this country, was stand in line at Home Affairs Document Center. Man in front was big black man. Lady at counter look at him and ask, "What is your name". He say, "Sipho Mthethwa". Then she looks at me and asks, "What your name?" I say, "Sem Ting".

      mlungisi.botha - 2012-12-13 14:45

      If the system wasn't prepared for such an eventuality FIX THE DAMN thing. If those in the department can't fix it, fire them and get someone else who can. In any case it's a stupid system than can't cater for a woman giving birth in January, getting pregnant in April and giving birth to a full term baby in December the same year. So, if a problem like this comes up don't traumatise a small baby - just fix the system or get someone who will.

  • judith.taylor.56 - 2012-12-13 10:09

    So the child's not allowed to exist? What stupidity

  • gary.desousa.5 - 2012-12-13 10:14

    If only one baby per year can be registered how do they handle twins??

      customdesign - 2012-12-13 10:18

      great point

      susan.wright.92 - 2012-12-13 10:59

      They registered my twins - no problem and that was in 1996.Sounds to me like the employee is incompetant and not the department.

      kokkieh - 2012-12-13 10:59

      Also, a year has 12 months. Full term pregnancy only lasts 9. So, it's very possible to have a child in January and another in October already. What then?

      amanda.vandenberg.758 - 2012-12-13 11:16

      How do they handle the thousands that are born in government hospitals and immediately registered so that they can receive their monthly grants?

      nic.nomicos.3 - 2012-12-13 17:09's not one baby per year, it's one BIRTH per year....

      ann.mathews.712 - 2012-12-13 17:58

      @Gary. How do you know the system will not handle twins? Or do you just want to use the opportunity to moan some more. When you have little knowledge of how IT systems are usually coded to handle these things programmatically, you can't comment.

  • carla.vittori3 - 2012-12-13 10:14

    I wonder how Home Affairs deals wit twins and triplets if the system can only register 1 baby per year to a set of parents?

  • Roland Strick - 2012-12-13 10:18

    eish uuuuuh,donno,lets blame it on the system,will be fixed in the next 3 years,if lucky

      peter.tony.14 - 2012-12-13 10:39

      Blame it on Apartheid!!

      ann.mathews.712 - 2012-12-13 18:03

      @Roland. Yes it actually was the system. Do expect the clerk to mutate into a software developer and fix it on the fly? The checks are there for a REASON. To make it hard for people to register fake births and to try to prevent errors.

  • garth.labuschagne - 2012-12-13 10:19

    How short sighted from home affairs. If a baby is born in January and the parents conceive in March again (perfectly normal and not unheard of) the second child will be born in December even at full term. Obviously Maths or logic are not requirements to work for home affairs.

  • melanie.gardner.7528 - 2012-12-13 10:22


  • issa.kabudula - 2012-12-13 10:26

    Home Affairs - on this case is not fair. How can they say they don't register the baby due to early or premature birth? or the birth of the baby within one year - is it prohibited by law? I think this is nature, if God wills he gives u 4 babies one time or one after another or estrict you (barren). Home Affairs is not the system is the people - when we walk up one day we assist people when we are tired one day we don't care and when we are in personal problems we twist other people's lives by not giving the the documentation still life goes.

      ann.mathews.712 - 2012-12-13 18:05

      It is not law you nutcase, or anything to do with God. It's computer system error.

  • ravin.govinden - 2012-12-13 10:27

    What a load of bull ?

  • Bob.Cee123 - 2012-12-13 10:29

    Surely DNA tests can verify this until they can program the new system to stop giving the 'Hawu, Can't Believe!!' error message.

      MagdaKus - 2012-12-13 10:47

      But those are not cheap?

  • leon.lipschitz - 2012-12-13 10:30

    So now we doing it Chinese style One child a year Well that's par for the course when considering the dept is been run by incompetents

  • ingrid.lagrange - 2012-12-13 10:45

    I have a friend from England who has been trying to get a work permit for about 8 months. He previously had a work permit, but his contract expired. He has new employment, but stands to lose the job if his permit doesn't come through. He owns the house in SA that he lives in with his South African girlfriend of 4 years. Firstly, HA told him he has enough money and doesn't need to work, and secondly, he cannot apply for a life partner permit because his girlfriend is still married. She got divorced 5 years ago and her ex-husband has remarried, but as HA won't accept that their systems could be wrong.

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2012-12-13 10:47

    How absolutely ridiculous!!!!

  • ulandi.potgieter - 2012-12-13 10:49

    then what about my cousin she 5 children aged I just I think that person just didn't want to do any work but get paid.

  • michael.nash.52687 - 2012-12-13 10:49

    This matter should be referred to the Ombudsman for the short term insurance industry, such grave injustices should not be allowed. As for the home affairs system that is obviously flawed, a formal dispute should be lodged. This is unacceptable. I am disgusted that this matter has not been resolved internally.

      Cherri - 2012-12-13 11:08

      Huh? What is the short term ombudsman going to do?

      michael.nash.52687 - 2012-12-13 11:27

      The Ombudsman has the authority to instruct the medical aid to which his parents subscribe and under which he would in the ordinary course of things be covered to cover the medical expenses, as the medical aid is refusing such without the birth certificate.

  • Mandiana - 2012-12-13 10:51

    If these parents were black I'm sure most of the comments here would be about how blacks like having sex cause 'they've got nothing to do' they are just 'baby machines'. But because they are white, the concentration is on Home Affairs. And for the idiots that are asking how they treat twins if they can register only one child a year. They can register one BIRTH a year for the same set of parents not one CHILD. Not this wrong 'one child' info written in this article.

      ulandi.potgieter - 2012-12-13 10:58

      If I may say I have read all the comments and you are the first person to say something about black people why is that I'm just asking where I know of white people that have many children too.

      JanGrimbeek - 2012-12-13 11:04

      and you know the colour of the parents ? shuttup moron

      ulandi.potgieter - 2012-12-13 11:10

      @ JanGrimbeek - Who must shut up ?

      sibonelo.mathenjwa - 2012-12-13 22:08

      Most comments still racist here Mandiana you very true, you can't blame the Home Affairs System obviously these were system controls and yes they must be corrected possible by supervisors because these are rare instances and must be carefully verified and explained to avoid such premature births as much as its a learning experience for home affairs its also a learning for people not to make babies in a hurry.home affairs has improved from what it used to be under the old government that's a fact and I think they have suitable qualified black and whites working for the better of SA.If people hate the current government they must vote for their preferred government and if that's still doesn't make you better go to the way you found us here.

  • lee.j.roebuck - 2012-12-13 10:51

    absolutely brilliant, so what happens when some of our citizens have more than one wife and manage to get them pregnant in the same year??? eh eh eh give him another chance.......... this country has truly slipping through the cracks just to end up like the rest of Arica. Zero economy, zero food and 10 billion corrupt inviduals!!!

      ann.mathews.712 - 2012-12-13 18:10

      Read the article again. It said to the same parents.

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-12-13 11:00

    I just can't believe what I'm reading so if twins are born they can only register one child and the other the following year!! LOL such incompetence Home Affairs you making an #ss out of yourselves once again!!!!

  • samacoba - 2012-12-13 11:06

    What a system design flaw,a glitch in the Matrix....What makes it worse are the Parrots at Home Affairs,surely they should have realized that this business rule is not a applicable in this scenario,the system is not god and is written by humans.....

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-12-13 11:10

    Home Affairs never knows if it is coming or going. It is the home of the lost and the lame.

  • christopher.m.lowe - 2012-12-13 11:12

    "Computer says NO!!" - Hehehehehehehe only in South Africa!

      nic.nomicos.3 - 2012-12-13 17:01


  • mdu.s.khumalo - 2012-12-13 11:21

    something is missing in this article

  • peejay.maclane - 2012-12-13 11:27

    I sympathies with baby's family Why didn't the Home Affairs give the a letter of acknowledgment untill they resolve the problem I renewed my ID book n it took 3weeks to get a new one I was so impress and my wife to her 4weeks to change her surname after getting married The ppl handling this case must be reprimanded for not speeding up the problem as the baby must be covered by the medical aid

  • Mpho Ntlaloe - 2012-12-13 11:30

    Bad service.....

  • tamsin.chananie - 2012-12-13 11:35

    This is absolutely disgusting and something needs to be done about this. no wonder the majority of the educated people in SA are now over seas! this country is becoming a laughing joke and guess what its just going to get worse. absolutely pathetic.

      sibonelo.mathenjwa - 2012-12-13 21:48

      Pity you still here!!! It not getting worse, worse than what it used to be? Naaah. If we all work togather and tolerate each other it will be better yes you right Casim we need to do something.

  • dsundire - 2012-12-13 11:49

    The idea looked sensible until this particular case. Funny how sometimes people make rules without exhausting all exceptions. It needs a minor program adjustment though...well I suppose.

  • semakaleng.thulare - 2012-12-13 11:55

    There is no way this is a first case for Home Affairs. I think the problem is with the employee not Home Affairs system...

  • sibonelo.mathenjwa - 2012-12-13 11:59

    The system was designed to detect and prevent irregular registration of babies in the HOME Affiars. All systems are updated. great we wouldn't know such things are possible.the birth of the second baby is irregular. The baby was probably made before the delivery of the older one, man couldn't wait for one month for her to recover ohh God!!!*can't watch*. by how many month was the baby premature. this is really puzzling.

      ester.venter.3 - 2012-12-13 12:27

      Idiot. Humans can't make a baby before another one is born.

      charne.coetzer.35 - 2012-12-13 14:13

      A baby cannot be concieved while a woman is pregnant. Lol its IMPOSSIBLE

      lskosana3 - 2012-12-13 18:05

      Not sure if this guy is being sarcastic or just stupid

      sibonelo.mathenjwa - 2012-12-13 21:39

      Ester take that first word it belongs to you I don't use it.thanks for informative comments I now know a baby can't be concieved when a woman is pregnant. So there is only 7 months between the birth of these two young souls and the second one was born prematurely I can obviously conclude why. Let's say they rested for two months or one month before making another one I can only assume the baby was 5/6 months premature. Is 5/6 months premature possible? If not give that man a Bells.

  • ditantane.kganakga - 2012-12-13 12:03

    if this is not a joke then am dreaming.

  • ismail.motala.16 - 2012-12-13 12:58

    A few questions - when the expectant mother was admitted to hospital - was there authorisation from the medical aid? If there was a medical - was this a private hospital? Private hospitals provide you with all the documentation for registration of the birth so you dont have to go to home affairs - don't they? The child was flown to a hospital, was there authorisation? When the mobile personnel mentioned that they did not know/understand, etc, did they bring this to the attention of a more senior person? Does this article reflect official view of the department? Did the official "apparently" say......?

  • musa.kamashobane - 2012-12-13 13:15

    Do they want a bribe to register an innocent soul? Come on now! Is this another Dalai Lama stupid decision. Is someone really proud to make a foolish decision like this, shoooo.

  • lynn.kolesky - 2012-12-13 14:48

    There is no provision for two babies registered in the same year from one set of birth parents?? Um... There are 12 months in a year and a woman is only pregnant for 9 of them... So it is totally possible to have 2 babies in one year!! One born Jan, one born at the end of the year? Home affairs is a bit confused, I think!

  • nic.nomicos.3 - 2012-12-13 16:57

    Then fix the damn computer system....sheeesh ...idiots...

  • pages:
  • 1