Access to birth records in South Africa is very different to other
countries. There is no official online archive except a growing database on Ancestry24.
Birth certificates were introduced officially in the
late 1800?s and was not compulsory until 1905: Cape: 1895 Natal: 1868
Transvaal: 1901 Orange Free State: 1903 Not everybody registered their
child in the first month of birth. Some did it years later when they had
more than one child to register. Additionally, not all our ancestors
were law-abiding citizens and did not always conform. So do not expect
to find a registration of birth for every person. For information dating
back earlier, you have to consult baptism records, death notices or
burial records. Birth dates were not included into baptism registers
until around 1800 and in most instances it will say “date of birth
unknown”. While the Department of Home Affairs in Pretoria is the
official custodian of birth records, the general public may view these
in the various provincial archival repositories. Access to the birth
registers is closed for a period of 100 years to protect individuals.
Find out more about birth records.