The Democratic Alliance has launched a High Court action aimed at allowing South Africans to acquire automatic dual-citizenship.
According to the party, Section 6(1)(a) of the South African Citizenship Act is unconstitutional, as it means that South Africans are being unlawfully stripped of their right to citizenship when voluntary applying for citizenship of another country.
Currently the legislation states that a South African citizen shall cease to be a South African citizen if – ‘he or she (whilst not being a minor), by some voluntary and formal act other than marriage, acquires the citizenship or nationality of a county other than the Republic’.
The DA added that while it is possible to apply to retain citizenship prior to acquiring foreign citizenship, this is very poorly communicated and often misunderstood – resulting in thousands of South Africans unknowingly being stripped of their citizenship without any notice.
“This can be a very traumatic experience, especially for those who plan to return to South Africa, the home of their birth, but can only do so as ‘foreign citizens’,” it said.
“As such, the Democratic Alliance has applied to the High Court of the Republic to have Section 6.1 declared unconstitutional and, in addition, to reinstate South African citizenship to all those from whom it was unlawfully stripped.”
“South Africans around the world, and in South Africa, may voluntarily take on citizenship of a foreign country for a range of reasons and there is no justifiable reason why they should subsequently and often without their knowledge, lose their South African citizenship.”
Should the matter remain unopposed it will be heard on the 12 November 2018.