Title page for ETD etd-11222011-145256

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Rietveld, Tarryn Michelle
Email tarryn@immigration.org.za
URN etd-11222011-145256
Document Title Loss of South African citizenship : an investigation into the implications of the phrase “voluntary and formal act”
Degree LLM
Department Public Law
Advisor Name Title
Prof J J Malan Supervisor
  • voluntary and formal act
  • South African citizenship
  • loss
Date 2011-09-08
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation focuses on the fact that despite a constitutional guarantee to the contrary, South Africans are in fact losing their South African citizenship as a result of gaining foreign citizenship by way of a voluntary and formal act. Specific attention is paid to the difficulty of interpreting the widely generalised designation “a voluntary and formal act” in order to decide exactly whether and when citizenship is actually lost, particularly in light of the said guarantee.

The dissertation dwells generally on the means of acquisition, loss and deprivation of citizenship, but then proceeds naturally to the issue of loss of citizenship by way of a voluntary and formal act and how, if at all, citizenship can be restored in such instances. Special attention is paid to significant landmark procedural changes occurring in 1995 in the acquisition of foreign citizenship by South Africans. The affected procedures include applications for exemption, retention, resumption, determination of status and the right to retain permanent residence.

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa guarantees that no citizen may be deprived of their citizenship and yet South Africans are indeed losing their citizenship.

An investigation is conducted into the procedural fairness, right to written reasons and the reasonableness of the procedures followed by the Department of Home Affairs in depriving South African citizens of their South African citizenship.

A comparative survey of South African citizenship laws and those of the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States of America and Zimbabwe is followed by suggestions deemed constructive in view of the variously intransient positions adopted by the surveyed countries on the pertinent issue of loss of citizenship due to acquiring foreign citizenship.

The solutions offered towards rectifying the current procedures followed by the Department of Home Affairs, and towards increasing public awareness and understanding of the law on this issue include proposed amendments to legislation, procedural changes and the upgrading of administrative systems in the said Department in order to handle loss of citizenship and related consequences more effectively.

Direct correspondence was conducted with the Citizenship Section of Head Office of the Department of Home Affairs, in compliance with the rules and procedures of the Ethics Committee of the University of Pretoria, in order to gain clarity on the issues at hand.

© 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Rietveld, TM 2011, Loss of South African citizenship : an investigation into the implications of the phrase “voluntary and formal act”, LLM dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-11222011-145256 / >


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