Since 2015 all children under 18 years travelling to South Africa have been required to show an unabridged birth certificate (UBC) in addition to their passport. If you do not have one already, UBCs are easy to apply for in most Western countries; unlike abridged birth certificates, they show the parents' details.
If one or neither parent is travelling with a child, the new immigration regulations ask for paperwork over and above the UBC, namely an affidavit giving permission for the child to travel, a court order in some cases and a death certificate if a parent is deceased. Where only one parent’s particulars appear on the UBC or equivalent document, no parental consent affidavit is required when that parent travels with the child. The controversial new regulations, which, according to the Department of Home Affairs, are designed to combat child trafficking, have received immense opposition and may possibly be relaxed in the future.
For further information and updates, check www.brandsouthafrica.com, www.home-affairs.gov.za, or with your government's travel advisory or your airline.