Early birth registration ensures access to basic services

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(Image: Isaiais Bartolomeu, Pixabay)

Polokwane, Wednesday 31 August 2016 – Brand South Africa’s programme to showcase the competitiveness of the province of Limpopo, saw media today visiting the Seshego Hospital where they had first-hand experience of the early registration of birth process being implemented by the Department of Home Affairs.

This is described by the Province’s MEC for Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba as the “first legal acknowledgement of a child’s existence.” In addition, the registration of births is fundamental to the enabling citizens to access a number of services provided by government and other entities .

Addressing the media – MEC Ramathuba said early birth registration ensures that children are provided with access to health care, access to immunisation, and that it ensures children enroll in school at the right age.

Dr Ramathuba said: “In addition to issues relating to protection, a functioning system of birth and civil registration ensures that the country has an up-to-date and reliable database for planning. This is as useful for national level planning as it is for local government bodies that are responsible for maintaining education, health and other social services for the community.”

Implemented by the Department of Home Affairs, the birth registration aims to ensure that individuals can be assured the legitimacy and authenticity of civil status.

The Department of Home Affairs’ Chief Director for Birth, Marriages, and Death Dr Aaron Ramodumo explained that”Without birth registration and documentation, children may have problems proving their links to a state, which puts them at risk of becoming stateless. It is through our footprint extension into health facilities that we can achieve 100% birth registration within the prescribed 30 days. We desperately need assistance to trace mothers who leave before birth could be registered. It is a constitutional right of every child to a name and nationality from birth.”

Brand South Africa, in partnership with the Departments of Trade and Industry, Provincial Health Department Home Affairs, the Industrial Development Corporation and the National Research Foundation are currently hosting a media in Polokwane, Limpopo where elements of the province’s competitiveness are being showcased. The media tour began on Tuesday 30 August and will coonclude on Thursday 01 September 2016.

This comes within the context of Brand South Africa’s mandate to positively position South Africa’s competitiveness. Provincial and city brands are the building blocks of the Nation Brand. Competitive strengths of provinces and cities therefore impact positively on the South African Nation Brand.

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