‘Minister team’ to address concerns over new regs

Daily-SA-Tourism-Update-Logo-croppedA team of Ministers from the economic and security clusters, which includes the Department of Tourism, will be set up to address the new immigration laws that have raised concerns in various sectors. The team will be assembled by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

The new legislation requires families travelling to and from South Africa with children under the age of 18 to produce unabridged birth certificates.

“The team is expected to discuss and engage with the concerns with the aim of finding ways to address the unintended consequences brought about by the implementation of these regulations,” said acting Cabinet spokesperson, Phumla Williams.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Migration will also continue with its work to relook at all the aspects relating to migrants that are in the country. “This work will assist to provide synergy between migration and our laws,” Williams said.

While this development has been welcomes by Satsa, the association questioned why the review was announced after the regulations took effect and also expressed disappointment that the review is limited to issues around implementation only.

“We will regardless work within the review process and provide data and information on the confusing manner in which these regulations have been implemented to date,” said David Frost, CEO Satsa.

“The exact standard operating procedures were released on the 18th May and have been changed a number of times since then.  We as the organisation representing 1,000 inbound tourism companies, have never received any communication from Home Affairs directly.”

The association remains opposed to both the requirements for in-person applications to capture biometrics in countries requiring visas to South Africa, as well as the requirement for all children under 18 to carry certified copies of birth certificates and supporting documentation.

“SATSA and its members will continue to lobby for an equitable solution that balances security issues with tourism growth” said Frost. “Our objections are based on the lack of proper consultation with all stakeholders; the lack of economic impact study and the lack of sufficient research produced to quantify the size of the child trafficking issue in South Africa.”
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