Home Affairs department will today, celebrate Foreigners who’re now South Africans in Johannesburg to seal their neutralization process.
The department is hosting an inaugural Naturalization Ceremony where newly recognized citizens will swear their allegiance to the Republic of South Africa and receive their Naturalization certificates.
According to the department, citizenship by Naturalization is acquired when a person has been an authentic Permanent Resident Permit holder for a period of 10 years, and had applied for; and been given a certificate of Naturalization by the Minister of Home Affairs.
Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba said South Africa has all along treated the neutralization process of people who would’ve been on permanent resident as an administrative formality.
“So once you’ve been a permanent resident for 10 years, you now apply for Naturalization, we give you a Naturalization certificate and it ends there.
But many countries in the world…take it as a serious ceremony to induct those new citizens into the country, to let them take an oat of allegiance to the constitution of the country to which they have opted to be citizens.
And, use it as a way both to induct them into the new country but also to introduce them to this new country, and say to South Africans, here are new entrance to your country.”
He said the ceremony is necessary and natural.
“We do this with South African Children when they are born between the date of birth and the first thirty days when we issue them with birth certificate.
It is only natural that you should conduct a similar ceremony for people who comes from other countries. Who helps to diversify the country and deepen our diversity and social cohesion as a nation. (And also,) have a massive contribution to make to our society economically (and) culturally.”
Gigaba said the neutralization process is too important an occasion for it to be treated as an administrative formality.
“That’s why we wrote a letter to the Chief Justice to conduct the ceremony on our behalf because we believe that it’s members of our judiciary who can oversee person taking an oat of allegiance to the constitution.”
Speaking about the benefits, the Minister said: “They bring to South Africa a wealth of experience and skill. They bring international exposure, they bring international connection (and) that can be useful for the development of our country.
We expect them to contribute to South Africa’s…development and growth…to contribute towards deepening our tolerance (and) play an important role in our political development.”
He added that the foreigners are expected to become active South African citizens pursuing the goals of the constitution and that of the national development plan.