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South Africa Civil Registration

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Beginning Research
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South Africa Background
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Moderator

The FamilySearch moderator for the South Africa is Daniel Jones.

How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Online Collections[edit | edit source]

Indexes and Images[edit | edit source]

Images of Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

Images of Death Records[edit | edit source]

Offices to Contact[edit | edit source]

National Archives and Records Service of South Africa, Head Office
The National Archivist
Postal address: Private Bag X236, PRETORIA 0001
Street address: 24 Hamilton Street, Arcadia, PRETORIA (map)
Telephone: (012) 441 3200
Fax: (012) 323 5287
Fax to e-mail: 086 529 6416
E-mail: Archives@dac.gov.za
E-mail: enquiries@dac.gov.za
Website: National Archives and Records Service of South Africa

PROVINCIAL ARCHIVES SERVICES (OFFICES WHICH DO NOT FORM PART OF THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS SERVICE OF SOUTH AFRICA)

Eastern Cape Provincial Archives

The Provincial Archivist
Postal Address: Private Bag X7486, KING WILLIAM’S TOWN,5600
Street Address: 5 Eales Street, KING WILLIAM’S TOWN
Tel: (043) 604 4017/6
Fax: (043) 642 2014
E-Mail: qondi.malotana@srac.ecprov.gov.za

Mthatha Archives Repository

The Head
Postal address: please use street address
Street Address: corner of Owen Street and Alexander Road, MTHATHA
Tel: (047) 532 5148

Port Elizabeth Archives Repository

The Head
Postal Address: Private Bag X3932, North End, PORT ELIZABETH, 6056
Street address: 1 De Villiers Street, PORT ELIZABETH
Tel: (041) 484 6467
Fax: (041) 484 6451
johan.vanzyl@srac.ecprov.gov.za

Free State Provincial Archives

The Provincial Archivist
Postal address: Private Bag X20504, BLOEMFONTEIN 9300
Street address: 29 Badenhorst Street, BLOEMFONTEIN
Tel: (051) 522 6762
Fax: (051) 522 6765
E-mail: fsarch@sacr.fs.gov.za

Gauteng Provincial Archives

The Director Libraries and Archives Services
Postal address: Private Bag X33, JOHANNESBURG 2000
Tel.: (011) 355 2659
Cell: 083 507 8032
Fax: (011) 355 2505
E-mail: Koekie.Meyer@gauteng.gov.za

KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Archives

Head Office
The Provincial Archivist
Postal address: Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism, 171 Boshoff Street, PIETERMARITZBURG 3200
Street address: Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism, 171 Boshoff Street, PIETERMARITZBURG 3200
Tel: (033) 341 3611
Fax:0866 121 489
E-mail: ngcoyas@dact.kzntl.gov.za

Durban Archives Repository

The Head
Postal address: Private Bag X22, GREYVILLE 4023
Street address: Nashua House, 14 De Mazenod Street, GREYVILLE
Tel: (031) 309 5682
Fax: (031) 309 5685
E-mail: dbnarchives@kzndac.gov.za

Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository

The Head
Postal address: Private Bag X9012, PIETERMARITZBURG 3200
Street address: 231 Pietermaritz Street, PIETERMARITZBURG
Tel: (033) 342 4712
Fax: (033) 394 4353
E-mail: pmbarchives@kzndac.gov.za

Ulundi Archives Repository

The Head
Postal address: Private Bag X75, ULUNDI 3838
Street address: Block 4, Unit A, ULUNDI
Tel: (035) 879 8500
Fax: (035) 879 8518
E-mail: uldarchives@dact.kzntl.gov.za

Limpopo Provincial Archives Service

The Head
Postal address: Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Archives Service, Private Bag X9549, POLOKWANE 0700
Street address: 15 Grobler Road, POLOKWANE
Tel: (015) 284 4043
Cell: 072 468 5528 (Mr Jabu Nkatingi)
Fax: 086 546 0880
E-mail: nkatingij@sac.limpopo.gov.za

Mpumalanga Provincial Archives Service

The Head
Mpumalanga Provincial Archives Service
Postal Address: P O Box 1243, NELSPRUIT, 1200
Street address: 1st Floor, Building 5, 7 Government Boulevard, Riverside Park Ext 2, NELSPRUIT
Tel: (013) 766 5081
Fax: (013) 766 8256
E-mail: nfmahalefa@mpg.gov.za

Northern Cape Provincial Archives Service

The Provincial Archivist
Postal address: Private Bag X5004, KIMBERLEY 8300
Street address: Department of Sport, Arts & Culture Building, 22 Abattoir Road, Ashburnham 8301, Kimberley
Tel: (053) 807 4700, (053) 807 4795
Fax: (053) 807 4600
E-mail: emanong@ncpg.gov.za

North West Provincial Archives and Records Services

The Head
Postal address: Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, Private Bag X 90, MMABATHO, 2735
Street Address: Corner University Drive and Dr Albert Luthuli, MMABATHO, 2745
Tel: 018 388 3963
Cell: 078 847 1967 (Ms Tlotlo Monyepao)
Fax: 018 388 1909
E-mail: tmonyepao@nwpg.gov.za

Director Library, Information and Archive Services:
Tel: (018) 388 3986
Fax: (018) 388 4428
E-mail: tsempe@nwpg.gov.za


Western Cape Provincial Archives and Records Service

The Head
Postal address: Private Bag X9025, CAPE TOWN 8000
Street address: 72 Roeland Street, CAPE TOWN
Tel: (021) 466 8100. Fax: (021) 465 2960
E-mail:

  • Archives@pgwc.gov.za (for General Correspondence)
  • Records@pgwc.gov.za (for Records Management enquiries)
  • Readroom@pgwc.gov.za (Reading Room Enquiries)
  • Outreach@pgwc.gov.za (Outreach Activities)


Department of Home Affairs. Republic of South Africa

South Africa. Department of the Interior. Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths

Master of the Supreme Court

Transvaal (South Africa). Master of the Supreme Court

SEE UNICEF South Africa

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The following table lists the approximate commencement dates for registering births, marriages, and deaths:

Province Births Marriages Deaths
Cape 1895 1700 1895
Natal 1868 1845 1888
Transvaal 1901 1870 1901
Orange Free State 1903 1848 1903
South-West Africa (Namibia) 1913 1908 1913

Until 1994, South Africa was divided into four provinces: the Cape Province, Natal, the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.

  • The National Archives Repository has the records of the central government as well as the public records of the former Transvaal Province and its predecessor states.
  • The Free State Archives Repository in Bloemfontein has the public records of the former Orange Free State and the Orange River Colony.
  • The Cape Town Archives Repository holds public records of the former Cape Province and earlier colonial administrations.
  • The Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository and the Durban Archives Repository have custody of the records of the former Natal Province and its predecessor states.
  • In addition to the repositories each of the former provinces had what was then known as intermediate depots, or records centres, as they are called today.[1]

Coverage and Compliance[edit | edit source]

Births[edit | edit source]

The legal informants for a birth are parents, guardian, or any other person legally responsible for the child.

Requirements for birth registration:

  • Identification of the child’s father
  • Identification of the child’s mother
  • Forenames and surname of the child[2]

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Legal age for marriage is 18 years for both sexes.

Exemptions: Girls under 18 years but older than 15 years need parental consent to marry; girls under age 15 need the consent of the Minister of Home Affairs.[2]

Deaths[edit | edit source]

No specific requirement concerning who should register a death, can be a traditional leader in rural areas.

Requirements for death registration:

  • Medical death certificate
  • Identification card
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Birth certificate for a minor[2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Birth Records[edit | edit source]

Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is in charge of registering births.

Contents:[2]

About the child:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Date of registration
  • Place of occurrence
  • Type of place of occurrence (hospital, home, etc.)
  • Sex

About the mother:

  • Date of birth or age
  • Marital status
  • Ethnicity
  • Educational attainment
  • Place/country of birth
  • Children born alive to the mother during her entire lifetime
  • Birth order parity
  • Date of last previous live birth
  • Date of marriage

About the father:

  • Date of birth or age
  • Marital status
  • Ethnicity
  • Educational attainment
  • Place/country of birth
  • Acknowledgment of paternity in regard to a child born out of wedlock

Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

Marriage records are also very valuable in South African genealogical research. Marriage records provide the following information:

  • Date when the marriage occurred
  • Full names, marital status (single or widowed) and places of birth for both the bride and groom
  • Full names, and places of birth for the parents of the bride and groom

Matrimonial court records[edit | edit source]

Helpful for pedigree linkage because of additional information given on the registers. Also includes information on marriages not recorded in the parish register, especially when the parish register is missing. They may also give an indication of the actual marriage place which otherwise could not be found without extensive searching.

Marriage records of banns[edit | edit source]

Time period: 1794 to 1906.

Contents:

  • Permission to have banns called
  • Register of permissions granted
  • Names
  • Ages
  • Residence
  • Written consent of parents
  • Birthplace
  • Religion
  • Marital status
  • Occupation of bridegroom

Location: Cape archives and magistrate’s offices where local matrimonial courts were held.

Percentage in Family History Library: 100%.

Population coverage: 75% of White population.

Death Records[edit | edit source]

Contents: Regarding the deceased:

  • Name
  • Sex
  • Date of birth or age
  • Marital status
  • Place of usual residence
  • Date of death
  • Date of registration
  • Place of occurrence
  • Place of registration
  • Cause of death
  • Certifier
  • Type of place of occurrence (hospital, home, etc.)[2]

Older records may be in Dutch and may include:

  • Name
  • Birth place
  • Names of parents
  • Age
  • Profession
  • Marriage status
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Whether there is a will
  • Whether left moveable or inmoveable property
  • Is the estate above L25
  • Name of children

Reliability: Very good.[3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The National Archives and Records Service of South Africa
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Unicef South Africa
  3. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Southern Africa,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-1998.

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