There has been a lot of consternation regarding new regulations promulgated by the South African Department of Home Affairs regarding the need for children travelling with adults to be in possession of original unabridged birth certificates.
SATSA has been actively engaging with our new Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom, who in turn has been in discussions with his cabinet colleagues. It is with some sense of relief that the Department of Home Affairs issued a statement last night that the regulations will now only become effective from 1 October 2014. Please see the Department of Home Affairs website here.
“I would like to assure members that SATSA will continue to oppose draconian legislation that impedes the tourism potential to South Africa,” says SATSA CEO David Frost. “As an organisation we support the need for proper regulations with respect to incoming tourism, but the heavy-handed and non-consultative approach exhibited by the Department of Home Affairs is to be strongly countered.”
Frost furthers: “This extends to the imposition of biometric visa requiring applicants to appear in person, which will severely impact growing markets such as India and China. Furthermore, we will work with our fellow associations BASA, ASATSA and Fair Trade in Tourism, through the auspices of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), and our Ministry of Tourism, to seek a more structured engagement with the Department of Home Affairs, where we can assert a tourism agenda in these deliberations.”