Petition launched to prevent expats South Africans losing citizenship

Published:  12 Jun at 9 AM
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An online petition in South Africa is asking lawmakers to change the rule that states when South Africans gain citizenship to a second country they lose the one for their homeland.

The petition, which can be found on, notes that many South Africans are stripped of their citizenship when they become naturalised to a nation they have relocated to, including the UK and the US.

The initiative - which supports the South African Dual Citizenship Campaign that is fighting for thousands of South Africans who have had their citizenships taken away – notes that despite The South African Citizenship Act stating citizenship could be retained before acquiring that of another country, the rules were poorly relayed and often misunderstood.

The letter states that no information is printed in South African passports about the potential to have citizenship stripped if the concerned party does not complete a retention application, meaning there is no consultation, no warning, no exception and no chance to apply retrospectively. It adds that your citizenship is taken away as soon as your foreign citizenship has been obtained.

In Chapter 20 of the South African Constitution it states that “no citizen may be deprived of citizenship”, but in a contradiction of that, the Minister of Home Affairs is given the power to strip people of their citizenships in section 6.1(a) of the South African Citizenship (Act 88 of 1995).

Furthermore, in section 6.1 of Chapter 3, it reads that subject to the provisions of the subsection, a South African citizen will have his or her citizenship stripped if, whilst not a minor, he or she acquires the nationality of citizenship of another Republic.
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