Home affairs ministry registered 96 137 new birth in 2016.
The ministry spokesperson, Sakeus Kadhikwa, said that 41 548 children were registered before they turned one, while 32 959 children were registered when they were between the ages two and five. Another 21 630 and above the age of five were registered for the first time. Kadhikwa also said that the Department of Civil Registration amended 4 037 birth records. According to Kadhikwa, the highest figure was recorded in Khomas region, while the lowest was in //Karas region.
He further said this number could increase because not all the applications have been captured in the system. Kadhikwa also noted that on 31 March 2017, the South West Africa (SWA) ID will be phased out yet some SWA ID holders never applied for their birth certificates after independence.
These applicants have been accommodated through the late registration procedure if they have met the requirements. So far, he said, the ministry has corrected approximately a thousand birth records that had mismatches between birth record and SWA ID record in the past three years. More than 11 000 SWA IDs were also converted into the Namibian IDs, Kadhikwa explained. Kadhikwa warned against late registration especially in the north of the country. “In the northern regions, more children are registered late than timely.
In the past eight years, the ministry has channelled large resources towards early birth registration through improving access to registration and information on registration requirements. “However, many parents still delay the registration of their children and this affect children’s access to opportunities and resources negatively,” he said. Requirements for birth registration according to the Births, Marriages and Deaths Registration Act, 1963 states that the parent(s) must declare maternity and paternity on the registration form.
If the father is unknown or is unwilling to declare paternity, the child will be registered without the father’s details; the details can be added for free on a later stage, if proof of paternity is provided.
Proof of birth must be attained from the hospital where the birth occurred, or a letter from the traditional authority if the child was born at home, and the first health card which is issued when the child receives his/her first vaccination and the registration can only be done by one of the biological parent(s)