People in North West hope Children’s Amendment Bill will fix undocumented children issues
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Cape Town - North West residents are hoping that the Children’s Amendment Bill will address issues of registering children to foster parents and foreigners.
This emerged when the social development portfolio committee held public hearings on the bill in Bojana District Municipality on Saturday and Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality on Sunday.
The bill is intended to, among others, resolve challenges relating to the foster care grant payments, resolve parental responsibilities among unmarried parents, child marriages, and resolve challenges related to children born to foreign parents and unaccompanied migrant children.
Portfolio committee chairperson Nonkosi Mvana said the committee heard that a significant number of children born to foreign nationals as well as South African children whose parents have died did not have birth certificates.
Mvana said the affected children missed out on benefiting from government social programmes such as the child support grant and the early childhood development programme.
The committee recommended that the departments of Social Development, Home Affairs and Education should work together to address the issue of undocumented children,” she said.
Mvana also said the members of the public indicated they hoped that once the bill was passed into law, it would help address challenges experienced by foster parents to get documentation for adopted orphans and also make it easy for children of foreigners to get documents.
“Operators of early childhood development centres told the committee that the issue of undocumented children is a serious problem in the district, as they are not allowed to register children without documentation,” Mvana said.