Tag Archives: unabridged birth certificate

Deputy President Ramaphosa to referee Visa Regulations battle meeting between Ministers of Home Affairs and Tourism!

PassportAlmost daily we see a new report about the damage that the new Immigration Regulations are causing to our country’s Tourism industry, with drastic reductions in the number of tourist arrivals despite a very favorable exchange rate. Interesting too has been the defensive reaction of the Department of Home Affairs to the criticism raised by the Tourism industry, its Minister Malusi Gigaba not wishing to admit to ‘the unintended consequences of South Africa’s new visa regulations‘.

Now Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is to chair a meeting between the two departments, welcome news if he is able to quickly find a solution to the Tourism disaster. The meeting was due to be held today, but has been cancelled as it does not suit the Deputy President’s diary.

Earlier this week Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom admitted to the South African Association for the Conference Industry congress that the visa regulations ‘have had an impact on tourism’. He referred to the Ministerial committee which was appointed to ‘consider and review the unintended consequences‘, and requested the conference industry to commit to work together ‘and make the best of the growth opportunities emerging around us’. He added: ‘I am confident that we will approach that meeting with an intention of finding solutions. I don’t think we should downplay the impact that this has had on our industry‘.

Minister Hanekom suggested that the industry focus on Domestic Tourism, to compensate for the decline in international tourist arrivals. Conferences should be used as a marketing opportunity for promoting leisure tourism to business delegates attending conferences. He referred to the 177 association conferences which will be held in our country in the best five years, to be attended by more than 250000 delegates.

Home Affairs Minister Gigaba has denied that the visa regulations have affected tourist arrivals, as we reported last week. The Tourism industry has been disappointed that it has taken Minister Hanekom so long to publicly take a stand about the visa regulations, and their effect on Tourism, referring to the worrying drop‘ in tourism numbers. He highlighted the 40% decline in tourist from China in the first quarter of this year. The Minister has become bolder in criticising his Home Affairs colleagues, accusing them of using over-inflated numbers to dramatize the ‘child-trafficking‘ problem. He said: ‘Trafficking is a problem, it [the numbers] probably was exaggerated. Some of the figures mooted were not very accurate’.

Continue reading →

Deafening silence from Tourism Ministry about disastrous effect of visa regulations effective from today!

PassportsDespite the tourism industry being up in arms about the implementation of the Immigration Regulations pertaining to children travelers, which are effective from today, Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom has been silent about the matter, which he was asked to address twelve month ago already when he became the Minister of Tourism.

The new regulations prescribe that children under the age of 18 years have to travel with an unabridged birth certificate, which must specify the names of both parents. Travelers (adults and children) from countries for which visa applications have to be made, such as India and China, must apply in person, so that biometric details can be Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 25 May

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Transit passengers, traveling with children through our country’s airports to other destinations, will not require supporting documentation such as unabridged birth certificates, to the relief of our neighboring countries.

*   The success of the Franschhoek Literary Festival has given it coverage in the New York Times, with an article focusing on the controversial nature of some of the sessions, especially the one at which Bongani Madondo spoke. The biographer of Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 18 February

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The inflation rate has dropped to 4,4%, a three year low, and down from 5,3% in December.  The lower petrol price and slower food price increase benefited the inflation rate.  The price of petrol is expected to increase in March.

*   SAA is two-thirds through its 90 Day Action Plan, with a ‘business unusual’ approach to turn the airline around.  ‘Cost-compression‘ measures have helped to achieve relative stability. Loss-making flights (to China and India) are to be cancelled, taken over by Middle Eastern airlines, and linked to SAA via code-share arrangements. More flights to Mauritius, Maputo, and Harare have been scheduled.

*   The new visa regulations for tourists from China and India are hurting the South African tourism industry, said Continue reading →

New Immigration regulations: Cape Tourism authorities outraged!

South African travel visaThe Cape Town and Western Cape tourism authorities are outraged by the arbitrary changes which have been made in the newly promulgated Immigration Regulations 2014, especially those pertaining to child tourists, and the effect that this is having already on tourism to our city and province.  The implementation of the Regulations has been delayed from 1 July to 1 October, as a result of the uproar it has generated.

The new Immigration regulations require parents to travel with the unabridged birth certificate of each child, the only country in the world to require this documentation for travel to another country.  The process of acquiring such  a document is a lengthy one, one mother writing on Facebook that she had just collected hers from the Malmesbury offices of the Department of Home Affairs after a 13 month waiting period.  This branch is the most efficient at such applications, she had been advised.  The regulations also require the second parent to agree to the foreign travel by the child if that parent is not part of the travel party.

In addition, the new regulations require that visas be applied for outside the country, which would make Continue reading →