Johannesburg – About 500 foreign nationals from various countries were today officially given South African citizenships.
Judge President Dustan Mlambo, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and his deputy, Fatima Chohan, officiated at the Naturalisation Ceremony held in Johannesburg.
Citizenship by Naturalisation 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 accorded a certificate of Naturalisation by the Minister of Home Affairs.
Speaking at the ceremony on Wednesday, Home Affairs Minister Gigaba thanked them for choosing South Africa as their new home.
Minister Gigaba said today’s ceremony is important as it will highlight the diversity of citizenry in South Africa.
“These are people out of their own choice, who chose South Africa as their new home,” he said.
After the nationals took the oath of citizenship, the Minister said government expects these new citizens to play an active role in developing the country.
“You will contribute to our economy through the skills that you bring to our country,” he said.
At the ceremony, the newly recognized citizens swore their allegiance or affirmation to the Republic of South Africa and received their Naturalisation certificates.
One of those given SA citizenship, Abdi Mohamud, from Somalia, told SAnews that he has been in the country for the past 15 years.
“I am now a proud South African,” he said with excitement.
Mohamud thanked the South African government for accepting them as the country’s new citizens.
Echoing the same sentiments, Yasin Salad, from Mozambique but now residing in the Western Cape, told SAnews that he is happy to be a South African.
Salad came to South Africa in 1996.
“I am happy to be a South African,” he said.
According to the Department of Home Affairs, the South African citizenship is acquired when a person is born in South Africa of South African parents.
Citizenship by birth is acquired when at least one parent is a South African citizen at the time of birth or through adoption after registration in accordance with the Children’s Act of 2005.