As such, the Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba and the Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom met to iron out the thorny issues at hand.
The meeting resonated on transit visas; the regulation relating to the presentation of unabridged birth certificates upon entering or departing South Africa and the requirement for foreign nationals to apply for visas ‘in person’.
Both Ministers agreed in principle that the Immigration Regulations were a crucial part of continued efforts to strengthen South Africa’s immigration regime; tourism makes a significant contribution to job creation and economic growth, and that the tourism experience encompasses the full customer journey which starts with visa application and documentation requirements; and the new Immigration Regulations could have unintended consequences as well as practical implementation difficulties which should be mitigated and managed in a reasonable and constructive manner.
Gigaba will address the misunderstandings about the interpretation of ‘unabridged birth certificate’ through a communication programme, which will include Tourism department.
Various SMME tourism organizations we spoke to were relieved, that an understanding will be reached soon by both departments.
According to them, this would have dire constraints on their businesses and affect their revenue stream.
For Minister Hanekom, this seems unfavourable considering he has just been in the ‘hot’ seat for only a handful of months.