Changes to be made to new visa rules to minimise impact - Hanekom

The department of home affairs and the ministry of tourism are in ongoing discussions with various stakeholders around the new visa rules, Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom has said. 

Hanekom said after consultation with Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, changes have been made to the new rules originally announced in order to minimize any negative impact on tourism.

Foreigners from China for example, one of South Africa’s key source markets, who are travelling with kids, will no longer be required to also have a translated copy of their unabridged birth certificates.

“That is now not required, an ordinary birth certificate issued in the country where you are applying for your visa is perfectly okay,” said Hanekom.

Also of immediate concern are the effects of the immigration regulations.

“Certain issues that need to be addressed are the physical presence when applying for a biometric visas and the long distances to various visa facilitation centres,” said Hanekom. 

“The agreement that we have with the department is that they will put various visa facilitation centres closer to where they are living and that could make a big difference already.” 

The minister said the department will be addressing this situation in major cities outside of Shanghai, Beijing, Deli and Mumbai for example.

“We need to find the right balance between appropriate measures to protect our boundaries, combat child trafficking and to do it in such a way that it has a minimal negative impact on tourism.”

Full details on the regulation issues are set to be released by the department of home affairs spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete has said.

Speaking at the Tourism Africa Summit in Cape Town International Convention Centre Hanekom said it was important for South Africa to retain its competitive edge by meeting the demands of increasingly tech-savvy international and domestic travellers.

“We’ve got to modernize systems across the spectrum and we’ve got to modernize how we issue visas and move towards e-visas. Work is being done but it’s not strictly within our domain.”

Follow the e-Tourism summit, aimed at Rethinking Tourism and the power of technology taking place in Cape Town for the seventh time until 5 September and then for the first time in Johannesburg from 8 to 9 September. 

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Read more on: visas travel
Neil Marnewick 2014-09-04 04:57:27 PM
The large multinational company I work for give students from their home country in EU the chance to work here without pay for experience. The visa requirements caused much chaos and unneccesary cancellations of visas. This is another silly schemeof the government that only works in communist books.
Kelvin Phiri 2014-09-04 05:12:07 PM
The govt must do proper consultation before implementing laws, this shows lawmakers and minister childhood in handling matters of state interest
JMaree 2014-09-04 05:14:46 PM
Thanks for FINALLY listening to the DA!
Salongo Kyakonye 2014-09-04 05:17:56 PM
Modernising visa issuing or preventing foreigners from entering the country?If these new immigration rules are not revised,this will affect the entire economy of the country.
OzzyInSA 2014-09-04 08:22:50 PM
There is no foresight in this country in implementing laws or anything else. E-tolls are a huge mistake. In no other country do they implement tolls on existing roads to pay for upgrades/maintenance. These new visa laws are ludicrous. For example, if a family arrives in South Africa before the 1st October they do not need an unabridged birth certificate. But if they leave SA they need it. What happens if they do not bring it? Will they not be allowed to leave? Home Affairs is a story unto itself. I could write a book about it being a foreigner here for 11 years and having to deal with them. From corruption witnessed first hand (where the female employee was insisting I pay for a work permit renewal) to them "losing" various applications of mine. The final straw for me was them "losing" my permanent residency application to be told that I could not re-apply straight away and I have to wait fro HA to send a letter confirming the application went missing. 3 years later I got the letter. My wife applied for her visa renewal in Cape Town last year and it still has not been granted. We leave this mess of a place in December. They better not try and stop us. And we wont be coming back here which is a shame because our son was born here and I would like to bring him back to show him where he was born. But not with these rubbish things being brought in. Shame really. SA has so much to offer in natural beauty, and animals, and the majority of the people are fantastic.
Sandra Thomas 2014-09-04 10:11:56 PM
Not a good reflection of s travel article if you can't spell the name of India's capital
Sandra Thomas 2014-09-04 10:16:06 PM
A poor example of travel journalism when you can't spell the name of the capital of India is
Andrew Mavurayi 2014-09-05 12:54:32 AM
Permanent residents are now required to produce PR certificates at border posts, despite having PR stickers in the passport & an SA I doc.
Lephutsi Setsompa 2014-09-05 07:33:24 AM
There is nothing wrong with our visa system. South Africa is copying what other countries are doing e.g UK and other European countries.
Richard C Thomas 2014-09-05 11:34:50 AM
The biggest threat is the Zimbabwe border, porous by all accounts, but let us stop all the dollar toting tourist from entering the country via airports where it is easy to spot traffickers. Clowns the lot of them.