Last Updated: Thursday, 23 October 2014, 16:39 GMT

South African Citizenship Act, 1949

Publisher National Legislative Bodies / National Authorities
Publication Date 2 September 1949
Reference ZAF-110
Cite as South African Citizenship Act, 1949 [],  2 September 1949, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b5088.html [accessed 23 October 2014]
Comments This is an official consolidation of the Act, No. 49 of 1949. It includes all amendments listed below: South African Citizenship Amendment Act, No. 64 of 1961; Commonwealth Relations Act, No. 69 of 1962; Residence in the Republic Regulation Act, No. 23 of 1964; South African Citizenship Amendment Act, No. 41 of 1973; South African Citizenship Amendment Act, No. 53 of 1978; South African Citizenship Amendment Act, No. 30 of 1980; South African Citizenship Amendment Act, No. 95 of 1981; South African Citizenship Amendment Act, No. 43 of 1984; Matters concerning Admission to and Residence in the Republic Amendment Act, No. 53 of 1986; Application of Certain Laws to Namibia Abolition Act, No. 112 of 1990; South African Citizenship Amendment Act, No. 70 of 1991. This Act repealed in its entirety by the South African Citizenship Act, 1995.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

ACT To make provision for South African citizenship and for matters incidental thereto.

Part I - DEFINITIONS

1. Definitions

(1)In this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates

"alien" means a person who is not a South African citizen;

"Commonwealth country" means a country which is a member of the Commonwealth and includes the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland;

"father" in relation to an illegitimate child, means the mother of that child;

"Minister" means the Minister of the Interior,

"minor" or "minor child" means a person who has not attained the age of twenty-one years;

"prescribed" means prescribed by regulations made under this Act;

"prior law" means the British Nationality in the Union and Naturalization and Status of Aliens Act, 1926 (Act No. 18 of 1926), or any law repealed by that Act;

"responsible parent", in relation to a child, means the father of that child or, if the Custody of that child has been awarded to the mother by the order of a competent court, or the father is dead, or the child is illegitimate and resides with the mother, the mother of that child;

"the United Kingdom and Colonies" includes the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man;

"Union"[deleted by s. 1 of Act No. 112 of 1990.]

"Union national" means a person who, immediately prior to the date of commencement Of this Act, was a Union national in terms of the Union Nationality and Flags Act, 1927 (Act No. 40 of 1927), or the Nationalization and Amnesty Act, 1932 (Act No. 14 of 19 32), and "Union nationality" has a corresponding meaning.

(2)For the purposes of this Act -

(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 bedeemed to have been born in that country;

(b)the United Kingdom and Colonies shall be deemed to constitute one country:

(c)a person

(i)to whom an exemption from the prohibition mentioned in section 2 (a) of the Aliens Act. 1937, has been granted unconditionally and for an unspecified period in terms of section 7bis of that Act, whether as an individual or as a member of a class ofpersons, or

(ii)to whom the said prohibition is not applicable by virtue of section 12 (1) (a) or (c) of that Act,

and who entered the Union or is therein or at any time prior to the commencement of the Matters concerning Admission to and Residence in the Republic Amendment Act, 1986, was therein for purposes of permanent residence, shall be deemed to be or have been lawfully admitted to the Union for permanent residence therein, or permanently and lawfully residing in the Union.

Part II - SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENSHIP

Citizenship by Birth

2. Persons born in the Union or South-West Africa prior to date of commencement of this Act.

(1)Every person born in the Union prior to the date of commencement of this Act who was or is, in terms of sub-section (3) of this section or section thirteen,deemed to have been, a Union national immediately prior to that date, shall be a South African citizen.

(2)Every person born in South-West Africa on or after the date of commencement of the British Nationality in the Union and Naturalization. and Status of Aliens Act, 1926 (Act No. 18 of 1926), but prior to the date of commencement of this Act shall be a South African citizen if

(a)at the commencement of this Act he resides in the Union or South-West Africa; or

(b)at any time after the commencement of this Act he is lawfully admitted to the Union or South-West Africa for permanent residence therein,

and he did not at any time whilst outside the Union or South-West Africa, by some voluntary and formal act, other than marriage, acquire the citizenship or nationality of a country other than the Union.

(3)Any person born in the Union prior to the date of commencement of this Act who would but for the provisions of section one of the Naturalization and Status of Aliens Amendment Act, 1942 (Act No. 35 of 1942), have been a Union national immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Act, shall, for the purposes of sub-section (1), be deemed to have been a Union national on that date.

3. Persons born in the Union after date of commencement of this Act.

(1) Even person born in the Union on or after the date of commencement of this Act who is not a Prohibited person under any law relating to immigration shall, subject to the provisionsof subsection (2), be a South African citizen.

(2)No person shall be a South African citizen by virtue of sub-section (1) if, at the time of his birth -

(a)his father -

(i)was a person enjoying diplomatic immunity in the Union in terms of any law relating to diplomatic privileges, or was a career representative of the government of another country, or was a person employed in the embassy or legation of such a government or in the office of such a career representative, or was a member of the household or a servant of any such person; and

(ii)was not a South African citizen or had not been lawfully admitted to the Union for permanent residence therein,

and his mother was not a South African citizen; or

(b)his father was an enemy alien and the birth occurred at a place under occupation by the enemy and his mother was not a South African citizen; or

(c)his father was an enemy alien without the right of permanent residence in the Union and was interned or detained In custody in the Union and his mother was not a South African citizen; or

(d)his father was a prohibited person or had no right of permanent residence in the Union under the law then in force in the Union and his mother was not a South African citizen.

(3)A person born in the Republic out of wedlock of a mother who at the time of his birth -

(a)was not a prohibited person; and

(b)had no right of permanent residence in the Republic,

shall, if he is adopted by a South African citizen in accordance with the Child Care Act, 1983 (Act No. 74 of 1983), be a South African citizen.

4. South African citizens by birth.

(1)Any person who is by virtue of the provisions of -

(a)section two or three a South African citizen; or

(b)section five or six a South African citizen, and whose father was at the time of such person's birth

(i)in the service of the Government of the Union; or

(ii)the representative or the employee of a person or an association of persons resident or established in the Union; or

(iii)in the service of an international organization of which the Government of the Union was then a member,

shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) of this section, be a South African citizen by birth.

(2)No person who -

(a)after having ceased to be a Union national, has at any time prior to the date of commencement of this Act, again acquired Union nationality in consequence of naturalization as a British subject; or

(b)after having ceased to be a South African citizen, at any time again acquires South African citizenship by registration or naturalization in the Union,

shall be a South African citizen by birth.

Citizenship by Descent

5. Persons born outside Union prior to date of commencement of this Act.

(1)A person born outside the Union prior to the date of commencement of this Act, other than a person referred to in sub-section (2) of section two, shall be a South African citizen if his father was at the time of his birth a British subject under the law then in force in the Union, and he fulfills any one of the following conditions, that is to say, if either -

(a)his father was born in the Union; or

(b)his father was, at the time of the birth, a person to whom a naturalization certificate had been granted in the Union; or

(c)his father had acquired British nationality by reason of the annexation of the territories of the South African Republic and the Republic of the Orange Free State; or

(d)his father was, at the time of the birth, in the service of the Government of the Union; or

(e)his father was, at the time of the birth, domiciled in the Union or Southwest Africa.

(2)A person who, immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Act, was a Union national by virtue of the provisions of paragraph (d) of section one of the Union Nationality and Flags Act, 1927 (Act No. 40 of 1927), but whose father was not, at the time of such person's birth, a British subject under the law then in force in the Union. shall be a South African citizen if he would have been such a citizen byvirtue of the provisions of sub-section (1) of this section if his father had. at the time of the birth. been a British subject under the law then in force in the Union.

(3)A person other than a person referred to in sub-section (1) or (2), who immediate prior to the date of commencement of this Act, was a Union national by virtue of the provisions of paragraph (d) of section one of the Union Nationality and Flags Act. 1927, and who -

(a)had at any time prior to the date of commencement of this Act, been lawfully admitted to the Union or South-West Africa for permanent residence therein; or

(b)on the date of commencement of this Act is the holder of a valid South African passport; or

(c)is the minor child of a person referred to in paragraph (b),

shall be a South African citizen.

(4)No person who, immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Act was neither a Union national nor a British subject under the law then in force in the Union, shall be a South African citizen by virtue of the provisions of this section.

(5)No person who immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Act, was a British subject by nationalization under the law then in force in the Union shall, unless he is a South African citizen by virtue of the provisions of sub-section (2) or(3), be a South African citizen by virtue of the provisions of this section.

(6)Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-section (4), any person born outside the Union prior to the date of commencement of this Act shall be a South African citizen if

(a)he is adopted in terms of the provisions of the Child Care Act, 1983 (Act No. 74 of 19833); and

(b)he would be such a citizen by virtue of the provisions of sub-section (1) if he were the natural child of his adoptive father.

6. Persons born outside Union after date of commencement of this Act.

(1)A person born outside the Union on or after the date of commencement of this Act shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), be a South African citizen if -

(a)

(i)his father was, at the time of the birth, a South African citizen and the birth is registered in terms of the provisions of section 17A of the Births. Marriages and Deaths Registration Act, 1963 (Act No. 81 of 1963); or

(ii)his mother is a South African citizen and his birth has been registered in terms of subparagraph (i); or

(b)a certificate of the resumption of previous South African citizenship has, in terms of section twenty-five bis, been issued to his responsible parent, he has entered the Union for permanent residence therein and the birth is within one year after theissue of such certificate or such longer period as the Minister may in the special circumstances of the case approve, registered in the Union in the prescribed manner; or

(c)he is adopted in terms of the provisions of the Child Care Act, 1983 (Act No. 74 of 1983), by a South African citizen and his birth is registered in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (a).

(2)Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-section (1), no person who, after the date of commencement of this Act, is born outside the Union shall be a South African citizen if -

(a)he, when he enters or is found in the Union, would be a prohibited person in terms of any law relating to immigration; or

(b)his father or his mother was, at the time of his birth, a prohibited person under the law then in force in the Union.

7. South African citizens by descent.

(1)Every person other than a person referred to in paragraph (b) of sub-section (1) of section four who is a South African citizen by virtue of the provisions of section five or six shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), be a South African citizen by descent.

(2)No person who, after having ceased to be a South African citizen, at any time again acquires South African citizenship by registration or naturalization in the Union, shall be a South African citizen by descent.

8. Citizenship by Registration

[Repealed by s. 19 of Act No. 69 of 1962.]

9. South African citizens by registration.

(1)A person to whom a certificate of registration has been granted under section eight shall, from the date of the issue of the certificate, be a South African citizen by registration.

(2)A person, other than a person referred to in section four or seven, who, immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Act, was a British subject by reason of the annexation of the territories of the South African Republic and the Republic ofthe Orange Free State or became a Union national by virtue of the provisions of the Nationalization and Amnesty Act, 1932 (Act No. 14 of 1932), shall be a South African citizen and shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be a South African citizen by registration.

(3)A person, other than a person referred to in sub-section (2) of section eleven, who, immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Act, was a Union national by virtue of domicile in the Union, shall be a South African citizen and shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be a South African citizen by registration.

Citizenship by Naturalization

10. Certificates of naturalization.

(1)The Minister may, upon application in the prescribed form, grant a certificate of naturalization as a South African citizen to any alien who satisfies the Minister that -

(a)he is not a minor, and

(b)[deleted by s. 9 (a) of Act No. 64 of 1961.]

(c)he has been lawfully admitted to the Union for permanent residence therein; and

(d)he is ordinarily resident in the Union and that he has been so resident for a continuous period of not less than one year immediately preceding the date of his application, and that he has, in addition, been resident in the Union for a further periodof not less than four years during the eight years immediately preceding the date of his application; and

(e)he is of good character, and

(f)he intends to continue to reside in the Union or to enter or continue in the service of the Government of the Union or of an international organization of which the Government of the Union is a member, or of a person or association of persons resident or established in the Union; and

(g)he is able to speak either of the official languages of the Union to the satisfaction of the Minister; and

(h)he has an adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of South African citizenship.

(2)Any period during which an applicant for naturalization has been employed outside the Union in the service of the Government of the Union (otherwise than as a person engaged locally) or on a ship or aircraft or a public means of transport registeredor licensed in and operating from the Union, and any period during which a woman who -is an applicant for naturalization has been resident outside the Union with her husband while the latter was so employed, shall, for the purposes of sub-section (1), beregarded as a period of residence or ordinary residence in the Union and for such purposes the Minister may, in his discretion, regard as a period of residence or ordinary residence in the Union any period during which an applicant for naturalization hasbeen employed outside the Union on a ship, aircraft or public means of transport operating from the Union, and any period during which a woman who is an applicant for naturalization has been resident outside the Union with her husband while the latter was so employed, not withstanding the fact that such ship, aircraft or public means of transport was not registered or licensed in the Union.

(3)No period during which an applicant for naturalization is confined in any prison, gaol, reformatory or other place of detention established by or under any law or in any internment camp, prisoner-of-war camp or mental institution in the Union or during which his residence in the Union is under any law in force in the Union, either conditional or temporary shall, for the purposes of sub-section (1), be regarded as a period of residence or ordinary residence in the Union.

(3)bis For the purposes of sub-section (1) the Minister shall regard one half of any previous period during which an applicant for naturalization had been resident in the Union prior to the period of eight years immediately preceding the date of his application, but not exceeding a period of two years, as a period of residence in the Union during the said period of eight years.

(3)ter If an applicant is able to speak both official languages of the Union to the satisfaction of the Minister, the Minister may grant a certificate of naturalization to him, notwithstanding the fact that the applicant had been resident in the Union for a period of only three years during the eight years immediately preceding the date of his application.

(4)The Minister may, notwithstanding the provisions of sub-section (1), upon application in the prescribed form by the responsible parent or the guardian of a minor child who is not or has not been married, and who is permanently and lawfully resident i n the Union, grant to that minor child a certificate of naturalization as a South African citizen.

(4)bisThe Minister may, notwithstanding the provisions of sub-section (1), upon application in the prescribed form, grant a certificate of naturalization as a South African citizen to any person who is not already a South African citizen and -

(a)who, or whose father or paternal grandfather or paternal great-grandfather, was born prior to the first day of September, 1900, in any part of South Africa included in the Union, or was a burgher of the late South African Republic or of the late Orange Free State Republic at any time prior to that date; and

(b)who satisfies the Minister that lie has been lawfully admitted to the Union for permanent residence therein.

(5)The Minister may waive the requirements of paragraph (a) of sub-section (1) in relation to an applicant who is or has been married.

(6)The Minister may, notwithstanding the provisions of sub-section (1), upon application in the prescribed form, grant a certificate of naturalization as a South African citizen to a woman who is an alien and who satisfies the Minister that -

(a)she is the wife or widow of a South African citizen and she has been lawfully admitted to the Union for permanent residence therein and has resided in the Union for a period of not less than two years immediately preceding the date of her applicationand after the date of her marriage to such citizen; or

(b)she is the wife of a South African citizen, she has in terms of any law relating to immigration obtained permission to enter the Union for permanent residence therein and she has resided with her husband in the Union or, while he was employed in the service of the Government of the Union, outside the Union for a period of not less than two years.

(7)For the purposes of this section any person who, on the date on which his application is considered by the Minister, would comply with the requirements of this section in regard to residence and ordinary residence in the Union, if such date were the date of his application, shall be deemed to have complied therewith on the date of his application.

(8)The Minister may, in such cases as he thinks fit, grant an application for a certificate of naturalization notwithstanding the fact that the applicant, if he had previously been a South African citizen or a Union national or if, in the opinion of theMinister, there are special circumstances present in his case, has not been resident in the Union for the additional period of not less than our years during the eight years immediately preceding the date of his application as required by paragraph (d) of sub-section (1).

(9)The Minister may waive the requirements of paragraph (g) of sub-section (1) in relation to an applicant who satisfies the Minister that he had previously been a South African citizen or a Union national.

(10)The requirements of paragraph (g) of sub-section (1) shall not apply in relation to an applicant who is a person to whom the provisions of sub-section (1) of section one of the Naturalization and Status of Aliens Amendment Act, 1942 (Act No. 35 of 19 42), applied.

(11)A certificate of naturalization shall not be issued to any person over the age of fourteen years until that person has, within a period of six months from the date of notification of the grant of the certificate, taken the oath of allegiance set forth in the First Schedule or, if he objects on religious grounds to the taking of an oath, made a corresponding solemn affirmation before one of such persons as may be prescribed.

(12)The Minister may in respect of any person who has applied for a certificate of naturalization make such enquiries as he may deem fit and require such person to appear personally before him or a person designated by him.

(13)If the Minister has refused an application for a certificate of naturalization by or on behalf of any person, the Minister shall not be obliged to reconsider such application at any time, but shall not consider another application for a certificate o f naturalization by or on behalf of such person until the expiration of a period of at least one year from the date upon which the person in question was advised of the Minister's decision.

(14)The grant of a certificate of naturalization shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (13), be in the absolute discretion of the Minister and he may, without assigning any reason, grant or refuse a certificate as he thinks most conducive to t he public good, and no appeal shall lie from his decision.

11. South African citizens by naturalization.

(1)A person to whom a certificate of naturalization has been granted under section ten shall, with effect from the date of the issue of the certificate, be a South African citizen by naturalization.

(2)A person who, immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Act, was a British subject by virtue of his naturalization in the Union, shall be a South African citizen and shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be a South African citizen by naturalization.

11A. Acquisition of South African citizen ship by naturalization by virtue of permanent residence.

(1)Any alien who -

(a)has not been convicted of an offence referred to in section 43 or 44A of the Admission of Persons to the Republic Regulation Act, 1972 (Act No. 59 of 1972), unless the Minister determines otherwise in his case; and

(b)is entitled to permanent residence in the Republic by virtue of a permit in terms of section 4 of the Aliens Act, 1937 (Act No. 1 of 1937); and

(c)has been ordinarily resident in the Republic for a period of at least five years after he so became entitled to permanent residence,

shall be a South African citizen by naturalization with effect from

(i)in the case of an alien to whom such a permit was issued before 19 April 1978, the date six months from the commencement of the South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 1984, if at that commencement he is not younger than 15 years and not older than24 years and six months, or, if he is then younger than 15 years, the date six months from the date on which he attains the age of 15 years; or

(ii)in the case of an alien to whom such a permit was or is issued at any time after the date two years before that commencement, the date on which the period of five years contemplated in paragraph (c) expires, if he was then not younger than 15 yearsand six months and not older than 25 years, or, if he was then younger than 15 years and six months, the date on which he attains the age of 15 years and six months,

unless he or, in the case of a minor, his responsible parent or guardian on his behalf while he was a minor at any time after the date on which he attained the age of 15 years but before the date on which he becomes a South African citizen by virtue of this subsection, made a declaration in the prescribed form stating that he does not wish to become such a citizen or, as the case may be, that he desires the minor not to become such a citizen.

(1A)The provisions of subsection (1) shall mutatis mutandis apply to an alien who is entitled to permanent residence by virtue of an exemption in terms of section 7bis of the Aliens Act. 1937, and in such application a reference in that subsection

(a)to a permit in terms of section 4 of the Aliens Act. 1937 (Act No. 1 of 1937) shall be construed as a reference to an exemption in terms of section 7bis of the Aliens Act, 1937, from the prohibition in section 2 (a) of the said Act;

(b)to "19 April 1978" and "two years" shall be construed as a reference to four Years and six months; and

(c)to "the South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 1984" shall be construed as a reference to the Matters concerning Admission to and Residence in the Republic Amendment Act, 1986.

(2)

(a)The Minister may in his discretion exclude any person or category of persons, With such exceptions as he may deem fit, from the provisions of subsection (1) or (1A), and either for a specified or unspecified period and either unconditionally or subject to such conditions as the Minister may impose.

(b)The Minister may in his discretion withdraw any such exclusion or withdraw any such exclusion relating to a category of persons in so far as a person belonging to that category is concerned.

(3)If a declaration referred to in subsection (1) or referred to in that subsection as applied by subsection (1A) has been made by or on behalf of any person

(a)he shall from the day on which the declaration has been registered in the prescribed manner, be deemed to be an alien who, for the purposes of the Aliens Act, 1937, is not -

(i)in possession of a permit issued to him in terms of section 4 or 5 of the said Act; or

(ii)in terms of section. 7bis of the said Act exempted from the prohibition in section 2 (a) of that Act;

(b)a permit may not in terms of section 4 of the said Act be issued or an exemption in terms of section 7bis of the said Act from the prohibition in section 2 (a) of that Act may not be granted to him; and

(c)he shall be disqualified from acquiring South African citizenship in any manner.

(3A)Any person who made a declaration in terms of subsection (1) or in terms of that subsection as applied by subsection (1A) may withdraw that declaration with the .Consent of the Minister and subject to the conditions determined by the Minister, and if -Such declaration is so withdrawn

(a)the provisions of this section shall apply with reference to such person, and any minor on whose behalf that declaration has been made, as if that declaration had not been made;

(b)such person shall be deemed to be in possession of a permit issued to him in terms of section 4 of the Aliens Act, 1937; and

(c)such person shall be deemed to have been in possession of such a permit during the period from the date on which he made that declaration to the date on which that declaration is withdrawn in terms of this section.

(4)If a declaration referred to in subsection (1) or referred to in that subsection as applied by subsection (1A) has been made by or on behalf of a minor, he may at any time during a period of one year after attaining majority make a declaration in theprescribed form stating that he wishes to become a South African citizen, and thereupon

(a)the provisions of subsection (1) or (1 A) shall apply in respect of such person as if the first-mentioned declaration had not been made on his behalf;

(b)he shall be deemed to be in possession of a permit issued to him in terms of section 4 of the Aliens Act, 1937; and

(c)he shall notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (3), be deemed to have been in possession of such a permit during the period from the date on which the first-mentioned declaration was made on his behalf to the date on which he made the declaration in accordance with this section.

Part III - MARRIED WOMEN

12. Marriage of a woman does not affect citizenship.

A married woman shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be capable of acquiring and losing South African citizenship in all respects as if she were an unmarried person, and no woman shall acquire or lose South African citizenship by reason merely of a marriage contracted by her.

13. Women who ceased to he Union nationals or British subjects by reason of marriage.

A woman who was a Union national or a British subject whilst she was unmarried and who, in consequence of her marriage to any person prior to the date of commencement o f this Act, ceased at the time of the marriage or during the subsistence thereof, to be a Union national or, as the case may be, a British subject and who would, but for such marriage, still have been a Union national or, as the case may be, a British subject immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Act, shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to have been a Union national or, as the case may be, a British subject immediately prior to the said date.

14. Status of certain married women.

(1)A woman who -

(a)in consequence of her marriage to a person who was a British subject by virtue of his naturalization in the Union or a Union national, was immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Act, a British subject or, as the case may be, a Union national; or

(b)is in terms of section thirteen deemed to have been, immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Act, a British subject or a Union national; and

(c)is not by virtue of the provisions of section two or five a South African citizen by birth or descent,

shall be a South African citizen under this section and shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be a South African citizen by registration:Provided that if she originally acquired Union or British nationality in consequence of or by naturalization, or if, as the case may be, her husband was a British subject by virtue of his naturalization in the Union, she shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be a South African citizen by nation.

(2)The provisions of sub-section (1) shall not apply to a woman who has not, at any time prior to the date of commencement of this Act, been lawfully admitted to the Union for permanent residence therein.

Part IV - LOSS OF CITIZENSHIP

15. Loss of South African citizenship generally.

(1)Subject to the provisions of subsection (1A) and (2), a South African citizen shall cease to be a South African citizen if -

(a)he, whilst outside the Union, and not being a minor, by some voluntary and formal act, other than marriage, acquires the citizenship or nationality of a country other than the Union; or

(b)he in terms of the laws of any other country also has the citizenship or nationality of that country, and serves in the armed forces of such country while it is at war with the Union; or

(c)he becomes a prohibited person for purposes of admission to the Union.

(1A)

(a)The Minister may at any time in his discretion -

(i)exempt any person or category of persons, or any category of persons with the exception of a particular person or persons, unconditionally or on such conditions as he may deem fit, for a definite or an indefinite period from the provisions of sub- section (1) (a); and

(ii)withdraw any exemption granted in terms of subparagraph (i) to a category of persons or to any person, whether as an individual or as a member of a category of persons.

(b)Any person or category of persons to whom the Minister has granted an exemption under paragraph (a), shall not cease or be deemed not to have ceased to be a South African citizen.

(2)If a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of sub-section (1) acquired the citizenship or nationality of the country in question while it was at war with the Union, he shall not cease to be a South African citizen under that sub-section, unless t he Minister by order deprives him of his South African citizenship.

16. Renunciation of citizenship.

(1)A South African citizen who also has the citizenship or nationality of a country other than the Union, may make a declaration in the prescribed form renouncing his South African citizenship.

(2)The Minister shall upon receipt by him cause to be registered in the manner prescribed every declaration made under this section and thereupon the person who made the declaration shall cease to be a South African citizen: Provided that the Minister may refuse to cause any declaration made in terms of this section to be registered while the Union is at war with any other country.

(3)Whenever a person ceases under sub-section (2) to be a South African citizen, his minor children shall also cease to be South African citizens if the other parent of such children is not, or does not remain, a South African citizen.

(4)A child who has ceased to be a South African citizen under sub-section (3) and Who is resident in the Union or has returned to the Union for permanent residence therein, may within one year after attaining the age of twenty-one years, make a declaration in the prescribed form that he wishes to resume South African citizenship, and upon registration of the declaration in the prescribed manner, shall resume his former South African citizenship.

17. Loss of citizenship by residence outside the Union.

(1)A South African citizen by registration or naturalization shall cease to be a South African citizen if he resides outside the Union for a continuous period of not less than seven years exclusive of any period during which -

(a)he so resides in the service of the Government of the Union;

(b)he so resides as the representative or employee of a person or association of persons resident or established in the Union, or in the service of an international organization of which the Government of the Union is a member; or

(c)in the case of a wife or minor child of a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b), such wife or child so resides with such person; or

(d)in the case of the wife or minor child of a person who is a South African citizen by birth or descent, such wife or child so resides with such person; or

(e)he so resides and in respect of which the Minister has granted exemption under sub-section (5).

(2)Whenever a person ceases under sub-section (1) to be a South African citizen, his minor children who are South African citizens by registration or naturalization shall also cease to be South African citizens if the other parent of such children is not, or does not remain, a South African citizen.

(3)A child who has ceased to be a South African citizen under sub-section (2) and who is resident in the Union or has returned to the Union for permanent residence therein, within one year after attaining the age of twenty-one years, make a declaration in the prescribed form that he wishes to resume South African citizenship, and upon registration of the declaration in the prescribed manner, shall resume his former South African citizenship.

(4)The provisions of this section shall not apply in relation to a person who is a South African citizen by virtue of the provisions of sub-section (2) or (3) of section nine, other than a person who acquired Union nationality in consequence of naturalization as a British subject or in relation to a woman who is in terms of sub-section (1) of section fourteen deemed to be a South African citizen by registration.

(5)

(a)The Minister may in his discretion grant any exemption contemplated in paragraph (e) of sub-section (1) in respect of any person or class of persons and for a definite or an indefinite period and either unconditionally or subject to such conditions as the Minister may deem fit.

(b)Where any such exemption is granted in respect of any class of persons, the Minister may exclude from such exemption any person belonging to that class.

(c)Any such exemption, whether granted in respect of a class of persons or any person belonging to any class of persons or in respect of a particular person, may at any time be withdrawn by the Minister in his discretion.

(6)Any exemption under sub-section (5) may, in any case where in the opinion of the Minister special circumstances exist, also be granted after the person in respect of whom it is granted has, by virtue of the provisions of sub-section (1), already cease d to be a South African citizen by registration or naturalization, and in that event such person shall be deemed not to have ceased to be such a citizen, as if he had not, during the period in respect of which the exemption is granted, resided outside the Union.

18. Loss of South African citizenship by certain persons resident outside the Union.

A person who is a South African citizen under sub-section (3) of section five (other than a person referred to in paragraph (a) of that sub-section) shall cease to be a South African

(a)in the case of the holder of a valid South African passport, upon the expiration of the period of validity of his passport unless he has, before the expiration of the period of validity of his passport, lawfully entered the Union for permanent residence therein: and

(b)in the case of the minor child of the holder of a valid South African passport, upon the expiration of the period of validity of the relevant passport or upon the expiration of a period of one year after he has attained the age of twenty-one years, whichever is the earlier, unless he has, before the expiration of the period of validity of the relevant passport or, as the case may be, before he has attained the age of twenty-one years, lawfully entered the Union for permanent residence therein.

19. Deprivation of citizenship.

(1)A South African citizen by registration or naturalization shall cease to be a South African citizen if deprived thereof by an order under this Section.

(2)The Minister may by order deprive any South African citizen by registration or naturalization of his South African citizenship if he is satisfied that the certificate of registration or naturalization was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of a material fact.

(3)Subject to the provisions of this section, the Minister may by order deprive any South African citizen, by registration or naturalization, of his South African citizenship if he is satisfied that such citizen

(a)if outside the Union, has shown himself by act or speech to be disloyal or disaffected towards His Majesty; or

(b)if in the Union, has been convicted of high treason, crimen laesae majestatis, sedition or public violence; or

(c)has, during any war in which the Union is or has been engaged, unlawfully traded or communicated with an enemy or been engaged in or associated with any business which was to his knowledge carried on in such a manner as to assist an enemy in that war; or

(d)has, within five years of the date of the grant of the certificate of registration or naturalization, been sentenced in any country to a period of imprisonment of not less than twelve months or to a fine of not less than one hundred pounds or the equivalent thereof: Provided that a sentence as aforesaid imposed by a court of any enemy country in time of war for an offence of a political character shall not be a ground for deprivation.

(4)Before making an order under this section or under section twenty, the Minister may, if he thinks fit, refer the matter to an enquiry as hereinafter provided, and if the order is proposed to be made on any of the grounds specified in sub-section (2) or paragraph (a) or (c) of sub-section (3), the Minister shall give the person in respect of whom the order is proposed to be made, notice in writing addressed to his last known place of residence, informing him of the grounds on which the order is propose d to be made and giving him an opportunity of claiming that the matter be referred to an enquiry, and if the person concerned so claims within a period of six months of the date of the notice, the Minister shall refer the matter to an enquiry as hereinafter provided.

(5)Any person in respect of whom an order is proposed to be made shall, if he is in the Union, be entitled to appear personally or by counsel or attorney on his behalf, or, if he is outside the Union, by counsel or attorney on his behalf, at any enquiry, held under sub-section (4).

(6)An enquiry under subsection (4) shall be held by a committee of not more than three persons including the chairman constituted for the purpose by the Minister, presided over by a person appointed by the Minister, who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa: Provided that any such enquiry may, if he Minister thinks fit, be held by any provincial division of the Supreme Court of South Africa.

(7)The provisions of the Commissions Act, 1947 (Act No. 8 of 1947), except section one thereof, shall apply with reference to any committee constituted under sub-section (6) of this section: Provided that any reference in the said Act to the secretary of a commission shall in its application with reference to a committee constituted under sub-section (6) of this section, be deemed to be a reference to the chairman of such a committee.

(8)Whenever the Minister deprives a person of his South African citizenship under this section or section nineteen bis or twenty, that person shall cease to be a South African citizen with effect from such date as the Minister may direct and thereupon t he certificate of registration or naturalization 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 certificate which he has in this possession, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months.

(9)The provisions of this section shall not apply in relation to a person who is a South African citizen by virtue of the provisions of sub-section (2) or (3) of section nine, other than a person who acquired Union nationality in consequence of naturalization as a British subject.

(10)A member of a committee constituted under sub-section (6) may be paid such remuneration for his services as the Minister may, in consultation with the Minister of Finance, determine.

19bis. Deprivation of South African citizen ship on grounds of acquisition of citizenship of another country.

(1)The Minister may by order deprive a South African citizen

(a)who is not a minor, of his South African citizenship if he is satisfied that such citizen

(i)has at any time after the commencement of this Act, by some voluntary and formal act in the Union, other than marriage, acquired the citizenship or nationality of a country other than the Union; or

(ii)has at any time after the commencement of this Act, whether in or outside the Union

(aa)made an oath or other declaration of allegiance to any country other than the Union; or

(bb)made a declaration renouncing his South African citizenship with intent to accept any other citizenship or nationality; or

(iii)who has also the citizenship or nationality of a country other than the Union, has at any time after the thirtieth day of May, 1963, performed some voluntary act which, in the opinion of the Minister, indicates that such citizen has made use of hiscitizenship or nationality of that other country; or

(b)who has also the citizenship or nationality of a country other than the Union, of his South African citizenship if he is satisfied that it is in the public interest that such citizen shall cease to be a South African citizen.

(1A)The decision of the Minister with regard to the question whether the deprivation of the citizenship, of a person referred to in subsection (1) (b) is or is not in the public interest, shall not be subject to appeal to or review by any court of law, and no person shall be entitled to be furnished with any reasons for such decision.

(2)If the Minister in terms of sub-section (1) deprives a South African citizen of his citizenship, such citizen shall cease to be a south African citizen.

(3)The Minister may, in such cases as he deems fit, withdraw any order made under sub-section (1) and thereupon the person concerned shall, with effect from such date as the Minister may direct, resume the form of South African citizenship of which he was deprived by that order.

20. [repealed by s. 6 of Act No. 95 of 1981.]

20bis. Deprivation of citizenship in case of children.

(1)Whenever the responsible parent of a minor has in terms of the provisions of section fifteen, nineteen, nineteen bis on twenty to be a South African citizen, the Minister may order that such minor, if he was born outside the Union, shall cease to be a South African citizen.

(2)Any person who has under sub-section (1) ceased to be a South African citizen, may at any time within one year after attaining the age of twenty-one years make a declaration in the prescribed form that he wishes to resume South African citizenship, and if the Minister thinks fit he may direct that such declaration be registered, and upon registration thereof such person shall resume his former South African citizenship.

21. Status of persons who cease to be South African citizens.

(1)Whenever a person ceases to be a South African citizen under the provisions of section nineteen, he shall be regarded as having the citizenship or nationality which he had before he became a South African citizen.

(2)(deleted by s.7 (a) of Act No. 95 of 1981.)

(3)Whenever a person ceases to be a South African citizen under the provisions of section twenty bis, he shall be regarded as having the citizenship or nationality which he had before he became a South African citizen, and if he had no other citizenship or nationality, he shall be regarded as having the citizenship or nationality of his responsible parent.

(4)

(a)Whenever a person ceases to be a South African citizen under the provisions of section 16, 17, 19, 19bis or 20bis, he shall for the purposes of the Aliens Act, 1937, be deemed to be an alien who is not -

(i)in possession or is not deemed to be in possession of a permit referred to in section 4 or 5 of that Act, or

(ii)in terms of section 7bis of the said Act exempted or deemed to be exempted from the prohibition in section 2 (a) of that Act.

(b)If any person citizen under section 16 (2), a permit shall not be issued to him in terms of section 4 of the Aliens Act, 1937, or an exemption in, terms of section 7bis of the said Act from the prohibition in section 2 (a) of that Act shall not b e granted to him, and he shall not be entitled to obtain South African citizenship in any manner again.

(c)The Minister may at any time exempt -

(i)any person or category of persons for a specified or unspecified period unconditionally or on such conditions as he may think fit from all the provisions of paragraph (a);

(ii)any person on such conditions as he may think fit from the provisions of paragraph (b).

(d)The Minister may exclude any person belonging to a category of persons from an exemption granted under paragraph (c) to such category of persons.

(e)The Minister may at any time withdraw any exemption granted under paragraph (c) to any category of persons or to any person, whether as an individual or as a member of category of persons.

22. Saving of obligations incurred before loss of citizenship.

Whenever a person ceases to be a South African citizen he shall not thereby be discharged from any obligation, duty or liability in respect of any act done before he ceased to be a South African citizen.

Part V - MISCELLANEOUS

23. British subjects without citizenship.

(1)A person who, immediately prior to tile date of commencement of this Act -

(a)was a British subject under the law then in force in the Union; and

(b)is not a South African citizen under this Act; and

(c)is not a citizen of one or other Commonwealth country,

shall, until he becomes a South African citizen, a citizen of one or other Commonwealth country or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or of any other country, be deemed, for the purposes of this Act, to be a citizen of a Commonwealth country, and if hewas under the said law a natural-born British subject, he shall be so deemed to be such a citizen by virtue of birth or descent.

(2)A person who, on or after the date of commencement of this Act, is born outside the Union and becomes a British subject under the law in force in any Commonwealth country but does not become a citizen of that country under the law then in force therein or a South African citizen under this Act, shall, until he becomes a South African citizen, a citizen of one or other Commonwealth country or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or of any other country, be deemed, for the purposes of this Act, to be acitizen of a Commonwealth country, and if he is under such law a natural-born British subject, he shall be so deemed to be such a citizen by virtue of birth or descent.

24. Posthumous children.

Any reference in this Act to the status or description of the father of a person at the time of that person's birth shall, in relation to a person born after the death of his father, be construed as a reference to the status or description of the father at the time of the father's death, and where the death occurred prior to, and the birth occurred after, the date of commencement of this Act, the status or description which would have been applicable to the father if he had died after that date shall be deemed to be the status or description applicable to him at the time of his death.

25. Grant of certificate of citizenship in cases of doubt.

(1)The Minister may in such cases as he thinks fit, grant to any person with respect to whose South African citizenship a doubt exists, a certificate that he is a South African citizen.

(2)Before granting any certificate under sub-section (1), the Minister may require the person concerned to comply with such provisions of this Act as the Minister may direct.

(3)The Minister may in any certificate under sub-section (1) describe the person to whom it relates as a South African citizen by birth, descent, registration or naturalization, as he deems fit.

(4)A certificate granted under this section shall, unless it is proved that it was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of some material fact, be conclusive evidence that the person to whom it relates was a South African citizen by birth, descent, registration or naturalization, as the case may be, at the date of the issue of the certificate, but shall not be deemed to imply any admission that the person to whom it is granted was not previously a South African citizen.

25bis. Resumption of South African citizenship.

(1)If any person who in terms of provisions of section 15 (1) (a), 16, 17, 18, 19bis (1) (a) or 20bis ceased to be a South African citizen, returns to the Union for permanent residence therein or intends residing permanently in the Union, as the circumstances may be, and is not a prohibited person under the law then in force in the Union, the Minister may upon application in the prescribed form allow such person to resume his former South African citizenship and issue to him a certificate to that effect in the prescribed form.

(2)The provisions of sub-sections (11), (11)bis and (14) of section ten shall mutatis mutandis apply with reference to a certificate referred to in sub-section (1).

26. [repealed by s. 8 of Act No. 95 of 1981.].

27. Certificates of South African citizenship.

(1)The Minister may on the application of any person cause to be issued to that person a certificate in respect of the status of any person who to his satisfaction is, or was, a South African citizen.

(2)A certificate under sub-section (1) shall indicate in addition to such other particulars as the Minister may think fit whether the person in respect of whom it is issued, is or was at the date or for the period mentioned therein, a South African citizen by birth, descent, registration or naturalization, without prejudice to any evidence that he was at any other date or during any other period a South African citizen as mentioned therein.

28. Production of evidence.

The Minister may call for the production of such evidence of citizenship as he deems fit before authorizing the issue of any certificate in terms of section 27.

29. [repealed by s. 11 of Act No. 95 of 1981.] .

30. Representations to Minister with regard to any person who has applied for registration or naturalization.

(1)Any person may make representations to the Minister with regard to any person who has applied for a certificate of registration or naturalization.

(2)The representations shall be made in the form of an affidavit.

(3)The contents of any affidavit filed with the Minister in pursuance of this section shall not be disclosed to any person other than for the purpose of criminal proceedings for any false statement made in the affidavit.

31. Proof of affidavits.

Any affidavit made under this Act or a prior law may be proved in any legal proceedings by the mere production of the original affidavit or of an copy thereof certified, as may be prescribed to be a true copy and the production of the affidavit or copy shall be prima facie evidence of the person therein named as deponent having made the affidavit at the date therein mentioned.

32. Proof of certificates of registration or naturalization.

A certificate of registration or naturalization issued under this Act or a prior law may be proved in any legal proceedings by the mere production of the original certificate or of any copy thereof certified in the manner prescribed to be a true copy.

33. Proof of entries in registers.

Entries in any register made in pursuance of this Act or a prior law may be proved by such copies to be certified in such manner as may be directed by the Minister, and the copies of such entries shall be evidence of an y matters, by this Act or by any law hereby repealed or by any regulation of the Minister, authorized to be inserted in the register.

34. Penalty for false representations or statements.

Any person who makes for any of the purposes of this Act, any false representation or any statement which is false in a material particular, knowing the same to be false, shall be guilty of an offenceand liable on conviction to the penalties prescribed by law for the crime of perjury.

35. Amendment of certificates of citizenship.

(1)Whenever the Minister is satisfied that any error has occurred in any certificate issued under this Act or a prior law, or any change has occurred in respect of the particulars recorded therein, he may rectify the error or alter the particulars by amending the certificate.

(2)Any certificate amended in pursuance of the provisions of sub-section (1) shall as from the date of the amendment thereof, have effect as so amended.

(3)The Minister may call upon any person to produce to him any certificate which requires to be amended in terms of sub-section (1) and any person who refuses or fails on demand so to produce such a certificate which he has in his possession, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty-five pounds.

36. Determination of questions of residence.

Whenever a question arises under this Act as to whether or not a person was resident or ordinarily resident in the Union the question may be determined by the Minister and his decision thereon shall be final.

36bis. Delegation of powers and duties.

The Minister may authorize any officer in his Department to exercise or perform subject to his control and directions any power or duty conferred or imposed upon him by this Act, and any power or duty so exercisedor performed by any such officer, shall be deemed to have been exercised or performed by the Minister.

37. Instruction in the responsibilities and privileges of South African citizenship.

The Minister may establish such facilities as to him may appear necessary or desirable to enable applicants for certificates of naturalization under this Act to receive instruction in the responsibilities and privileges of South African citizenship.

38. References in other laws to Union nationals or British subjects.

As from the date of commencement of this Act, any reference in any law to a Union national or to Union nationality shall be deemed to be a reference to a South African citizen or to South African citizenship, as the case may be, and any reference to a British subject shall be deemed to be a reference to a South African citizen, a citizen of a Commonwealth country or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, and any reference to natural-born British subjects shall be deemed to be a reference to persons who by virtue of birth or descent are South African citizens or citizens of any Commonwealth country or of the Republic of Ireland, or who have at any time been citizens and are not aliens.

39. [repealed by s.10 of Act No. 53 of 1986]

40. Regulations.

The Minister may make regulations not inconsistent with this Act with regard to -

(a)the form of an application for a certificate of naturalization as a South African citizen;

(b)the form of any certificate of registration or naturalization as a South African citizen;

(c)the form and registration of any declaration of renunciation or resumption of South African citizenship and of any declaration contemplated in section 11A (1);

(d)the persons before whom the oath of allegiance may be taken and the persons before whom declarations of renunciation or resumption of South African citizenship may be made;

(e)[deleted by s. 14 of Act No. 95 of 1981.]

(f)the issue of certificates of acknowledgement of South African citizenship to persons born elsewhere than in the Union;

and generally, with regard to all matters which by this Act are required or permitted to be prescribed or which he considers it necessary or expedient to prescribe in order that the purposes of this Act may be achieved or that this Act may be effectivelyadministered.

41. Application of Act.

This Act and any amendment thereof shall apply in the Prince Edward Islands.

42. Repeal and amendment of laws.

The laws specified in the Second Schedule are hereby repealed or amended to the extent set out in the third column thereof.

43. Short title and date of commencement.

This Act shall be called the South African Citizenship Act, 1949, and shall come into operation on a date to be fixed by the Governor-General by proclamation in the Gazette.

FIRST SCHEDULE - OATH OF ALLEGIANCE

I, A. B., do hereby declare on oath that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa, observe its laws, promote all that which will advance it and oppose all that may harm it. So Help Me God.

SECOND SCHEDULE - LAWS REPEALED AND AMENDED

[This schedule is not reproduced here.]

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