Thursday, September 21, 2017
An attorney asks what processes need to be followed for a client to change their surname.
S 26(2) of the BIRTHS AND DEATHS REGISTRATION ACT NO. 51 OF 1992 states that: 'At the request of any person, in the prescribed manner, the Director-General may, if he or she is satisfied that there is a good and sufficient reason as may be prescribed for that person’s assumption of another surname, authorize the person to assume a surname other than his or her surname as included in the population register, and the Director-General shall include the substitutive surname in the population register in the prescribed manner.'
S27 of the same act, adds: 'Publishing of alterations and amplifications of forenames and surnames.—(1) In the case of an alteration or amplification of forename or surname mentioned in sections 23, 24 (1) and 26 (2), the Director-General shall as soon as possible after such alteration or amplification has been authorized, cause any such alteration or amplification which relates to a person of age, to be published in the prescribed manner by notice in the Gazette.
(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply where the alteration was authorized in the prescribed manner under a witness protection plan.'
The applicable regulations framework governing what good and sufficient reason is, is GNR.128 of 26 February 2014: Regulations on the Registration of Births and Deaths, 2014 (Government Gazette No. 37373) which states, in regulation 18, re: Assumption of another surname:
'Assumption of another surname.—(1) An application for assumption of another surname referred to in section 26 of the Act by a person of age must be made on Form DHA-462 or DHA-196 illustrated in Annexure 10 and Annexure 11, as the case may be.
(2) The reasons referred to in section 26 (2) of the Act must relate to—
a change in the marital status of a woman;
assumption by a person of his or her biological father’s surname, where the father has recently acknowledged paternity in terms of regulation 13 or 14; or
protection of a person in terms of the Witness Protection Act, 1998 (Act No. 112 of 1998).
(3) An application contemplated in subregulation (1) must be accompanied by—
a certified copy of the identity document or birth certificate of the applicant;
a certified copy of the identity document or valid passport of the biological mother or father or both parents of the child, as the case may be;
where applicable, a certified copy of the marriage certificate of the parents;
where applicable, a certified copy of the death certificate of any deceased parent;
where applicable, a letter issued by the Director: Witness Protection; and
( f )
proof of payment of the applicable fee.
(4) Upon approval of an application contemplated in subregulation (1), any alteration of a forename, surname or assumption of another surname made in terms of section 24, 25 or 26 of the Act must be made—
by entering the altered forename or surname or assumed surname of the minor in the birth register; and
if the particulars of the person have been included in the national population register, by including the altered forename, surname or assumed surname in the national population register,
without erasing the previous forename, surname or assumed surname.
(5) The assumption of another surname contemplated in subregulation (2) (a), (b) or (d) shall not have the effect of changing a person’s identity number.'
The current prescribed fee is set out in GNR.1123 of 28 December 2012: Notice of fees payable (Government Gazette No. 36054), as 'R325-00' for 'An application by a major to assume a different surname: Provided that, should the applicant be lawfully married, the fee shall include the application of his or her spouse, as well as those of any minor, or if the applicant is divorced, a widow or a widower, the fee shall also include the application of his or her minor, if any.'
The forms to do the application are available at Home affairs. Any other reason would likely require an application to the High Court, setting out that something outside of the regulations is in fact good and sufficient cause for the purposes of the Act, despite what the regulations currently state, as the form, which I have a copy of, specifically allows a checkbox to be filled out of any of the above reasons, and only those reasons.
Nothing in this article should be relied upon as legal advice in any way or form. For that, kindly make an appointment with your attorney, and properly brief them as to all your facts and the nuances of your matter.
Who is Marc Evan Aupiais?Attorney; Notary; Writer; Dad; Fiancé; Enthusiast of Germanic, Celtic, & Romance languages, with a love of exploring law, linguistics, sociology, & int. news.
A deep interest in the law of South Africa, especially our constitutional and common law, guided my studies and continues to influence my current career path. I enjoy engaging in the day to day work of being an attorney, and reading the material contained in our case law.
I have gained and enjoyed much exposure to the law and to the day to day details of practice, and to extensive litigation work, during my years of practise since my admission to the profession and enrolment as an attorney of the High Court, as well as during my articles of clerkship and, prior to that, when I worked as a student counsellor/paralegal at the Wits Law Clinic – in the final year of law school and during my studies at the School for Legal Practice.
I am passionate about the place of my birth, South Africa, and am proud to be a patriot and citizen of this diverse and beautiful nation. I consider myself a global citizen and keep connections in a number of different nations across the world. Communicating with people from other cultures, I believe, has aided me to have a more open-minded approach in so far as how I see, and interact with, the world.
I believe success requires not just hard work but intelligence, perseverance, humility, integrity, ingenuity, diligence, a strong work ethic, and the courage to request the assistance of those better-versed in a matter, or field, where necessary.
The cultures and legal systems, morals and courtesy systems, languages, intricacies and religions of South Africa and of the nations of the world, are subjects I love to research. I enjoy reading and writing. To keep abreast with important events occurring in other countries, I find my knowledge of other languages, especially French, to be highly useful. I passed Afrikaans at a matric level. I took Zulu from grades 5 to 7. The language I am best acquainted with, is my first language of English, which I speak in everyday life.
I enjoy public speaking and debate, and believe that manners, appropriate dress for an occasion and courtesy are of very great importance. I enjoy hard work and like to throw myself entirely into solving a problem.
Law & Career
I currently work under my own name and style as an attorney and sole proprietor, at Marc Evan Aupiais Attorney.
Law firms I have worked at include: DL Wilson Attorneys in Randburg North, Desmond Barry Attorneys in Morningside, Sandton, Botha & Sutherland Attorneys in Aukland Park, Johannesburg, and Serina Govender Inc. Attorneys. I also edit and write for the SACNS, have written breaking news for a multinational service called InfosNews Breaking News, and act as a correspondent for the popular french language Les News service.
Novels I have written include
A Lesser Instinct | My first foray into the world of long form fiction.
Read it without payment - on Scribd.
I have a YouTube account, where I sometimes post videos.
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