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SAA to comply with travel regulations

South African Airways

South African Airways (SAA) says it will comply with new regulations relating to children who travel to and from South Africa.

The national carrier said as of 1 October, it will observe the new regulations by the Department of Home Affairs, which come into effect in terms of the South African Immigration Amendment Act of 2010.

It defines children as persons under the age of 18 years.

“These regulations are designed to ensure the safety of children and should thus be welcomed. As from 1 October, we will not be able to check in all travellers who cannot produce the necessary documentation in terms of this Act,” SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said on Sunday.

In terms of the new regulations, when parents are travelling with a child, they need to produce an unabridged birth certificate that shows the names of both parents. In cases where the certificate is in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by a sworn translation issued by a competent authority in the country concerned.

When a child travels with only one parent, additional documents should include an affidavit in which the absent parent gives consent for the child to travel, a court order granting full parental responsibilities or legal guardianship of the child, or the death certificate of the absent parent.

The affidavit should be no more than three months old, from date of travel.

In cases where a child is travelling with a person other than a parent, the unabridged birth certificate must be supplemented by affidavits from the parents or legal guardians confirming that the child may travel with that person.

Copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian, and the contact details of the parents or legal guardian will also be required.

Similarly, a child travelling as an unaccompanied minor would have to produce not only the unabridged birth certificate, but also proof of consent from both parents, or legal guardian and contact details, plus documentation relating to the person receiving the child in the Republic.

The latter documentation should include a letter stating the person’s contact details and residential address and contact details where the child will be residing, plus a copy of his or her identity document, passport or residence permit.

“All documents must either be original or certified as true copies of the original, by a competent authority. Documents not in English must be accompanied by a sworn translation,” said SAA.


  1. John Lawson says

    My son who is 14 vwas born in Finland where they do not issue birth certs.
    What documentation will be needed for him to travel with his parents to South Africa
    in Dec 2014?

    • John, it would be best to contact the SA Embassy in Helsinki, they will be able to provide you with up to date information.

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