- v01: Edited, anonymous dataset for public distribution.
The target population is all births recorded on the NPR between 1998 and 2010 for South African citizens and permanent residents, regardless of which year the birth occurred. All births that occurred in South Africa with parents being non-South African citizens or not permanent residents were excluded.
Producers and sponsors
Statistics South Africa
The registration of births in South Africa is governed by the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992 (Act No. 51 of 1992), as amended, and is administered by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) using Form DHA-24 (Notice of birth), which recently replaced Form BI-24 that was previously used. Notice of the birth must be given by one of the parents or; if neither parent is available to do so, the person having charge of the child or a person requested by the parents to do so. The person requested to register the birth must have a written mandate from the child's parents which must also include the reasons why neither of the parents is in a position to register the birth. The birth of a child outside the country; where at least one parent is a South African citizen; can be registered at any South African Mission abroad.Documentary proof in the form of a birth certificate of the foreign country must accompany the Notice of Birth.
The Act states that a child must be registered within 30 days of birth. Where the notice of a birth is given after the expiration of 30 days from the date of the birth, the Director-General may demand that reasons for the late notice be furnished and that the fingerprints be taken of the person whose notice of birth is given. Where the notice of a birth is given for a person aged 15 years and older, the birth shall be registered if it complies with the prescribed requirements for a late registration of birth.
Following the registration of a birth, a birth certificate is issued by the DHA. Citizens and permanent residents receive computer-printed abridged birth certificates and non-citizens receive handwritten certificates. The information of South African citizens and permanent residents is captured on the National Population Register (NPR).
The following persons and particulars are eligible to be included on the NPR:
- All children born of South African citizens and permanent residents when the notice of the birth is given within one year after the birth of the child.
- All children born of South African citizens and permanent residents when the notice of the birth is given one year after the birth of the child; together with the prescribed requirement for a late registration of birth.
- All South African citizens and permanent residents who, upon attainment of the age of 16, applied for and were granted identification cards (or books).
- All South African citizens and permanent residents who die at any age after birth.
- All South African citizens and permanent residents who depart permanently from South Africa.
The DHA captures information on places based on magisterial districts using the twelfth edition of the Standard Code List of Areas (Central Statistics Services, 1995). Stats SA then recodes the magisterial districts into district councils (DCs), metropolitan areas (metros) and provinces based on the 2011
municipal boundaries. The data sets for 1998 to 2010 have all been recoded according to the 2011 municipal boundaries.
It should be noted that the distribution of births by DCs, metros and provinces are approximate figures; as there was no perfect match of magisterial districts for all DCs, metros and provinces since some magisterial districts are situated in more than one DC, metro or province. Such magisterial districts were
allocated to the district council where the majority of the land area falls (see the folder on maps). The only exception was with Nigel in Gauteng province. The majority of the land area of Nigel magisterial district is in Sedibeng district council (which is mainly farm areas and therefore sparsely populated) while
the majority of the population lives in Ekurhuleni metropolitan area. As such, Nigel was classified to Ekurhuleni and not Sedibeng.
Magisterial district of birth refers to the district of birth occurrence for births registered before 15 years of age. For those that were registered from 15 years of age, district refers to the district of birth registration. Furthermore, from 2009, the processing of late birth registrations from age 15 were centralised at the
DHA head office in Pretoria. As such, the late birth registrations processed in Pretoria from 15 years have a district code of Pretoria; even if they occurred in other areas. There were a few exceptional cases which were registered in Pretoria; but were not captured using the Pretoria code.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
NOTICE OF BIRTH - [Births and Deaths Registration Act 51 of 1992]
A. DETAILS OF THE CHILD
B. DETAILS OF FATHER (PARENT A)
C. DETAILS OF MOTHER (PARENT B)
D. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF PATERNITY OF A CHILD BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK
E. DETAILS OF THE LEGAL GUARDIAN/SOCIAL WORKER*
G. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY - OFFICE OF ORIGIN
Data capturing of information on births is done by DHA officials. The data is captured directly onto the Population Register Database at Nucleus Bureau. These transactions are used to update the database of the NPR and the population register database. As soon as the DHA has captured the data; the data is made available on the mainframe. The data is then downloaded via ftp; or collected from the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) written on a CD by Stats SA.
For the purpose of producing vital statistics, the following system is followed: all the civil transactions carried out at all DHA offices are written onto a cassette every day. At the end of every month, a combined set of cassettes is created containing all the transactions done for the month. These transactions are downloaded and the birth transactions are extracted for processing at Stats SA. The year in which the births are registered is the registration year. Using this information, Stats SA provides a
breakdown of the registered births according to the year in which the births occurred.
While birth information sent to Stats SA is the same as that in the population register, there is a difference in the format between the two. On one hand, Stats SA’s data are based on births registered during the year (registration-based), while on the other hand, entries in the population register reflect the date of birth.
Users are cautioned on the following limitations of the data:
- Father’s age had a high percentage of cases where information was unspecified or unknown for all the years.
- Data for 1998 and 1999 have incorrect information on month of birth, which could not be resolved.
- Unknown : refers to cases where the answer provided is not correct or not possible given the options available.
- Unspecified: refers to cases where no response was given.
The information remains confidential to Stats SA. The Statistics Act, 1999 (Act No.6 of 1999) prohibits the disclosure of information regarding individuals to any person concerned or their lawful representative. Therefore, the information published on recorded live births does not include personal information about the child or its parents; and is released in such a way that no individual can be identified.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.