SA facing flight route cuts due to new visa rules

South Africa’s new immigration rules are set to come into effect on 1 September and concerns about its possible impact on foreign visitor arrivals and far-reaching effects on air transport links to South Africa continue to been raised. 

iAfrica reports the joint appeal by 20 regional and international airlines to the department of home affairs indicates losses in tourism could reach R10-billion a year - 10 times more initially forecast.  

Added to the risk of decreasing tourism numbers and the financial implications thereof, airlines might also be forced to reduce schedules or even withdraw services due to the financial impact.

Home affairs is reportedly considering a request to meet with the airline representatives to discuss a proposed 12-month reprieve


Also see: Who exactly is immigrating to SA


British Airways
, one of the airlines which has added its name to the appeal, said while the government has explained the reasons for the new regulations, it remains concerned that the consequences may be a decline, particularly leisure travel to South Africa as holidaymakers switch to destinations where the immigration requirements are less onerous.

In the report, Regional Manager for the Middle East and Africa at Virgin Atlantic Airways, Simon Newton-Smith questioned why  home affairs was ignoring the potential economic risk for South Africa, added to the issue of "inadequate infrastructure to facilitate in-person visa applications across the world".

Newton-Smith believes “home affairs is not ready for its own rules”, warning that South Africa will end up paying the price.  

What are your views on the matter? Email us at Info@traveller24.com or leave a comment below.

Read more on: visas
Archie Dempster 2014-08-26 11:38:24 AM
It's a good law but no other country has adopted it and we are already not got the infrastructure to comply with the new law
Miles Lancmore 2014-08-26 11:40:41 AM
Home affairs ministry is clueless about the effect to the economy,they don't even want to listen.
taggert 2014-08-26 11:52:19 AM
New Minister - New rules to get his name in lights / Totally brain dead as shooting themselves in the foot on tourism and inconveniencing the 99.9 % of honest travelers is not the way to bring in child protection laws. Scrap this lunacy and go back to the drawing board and think it through properly.
Megan Tassev 2014-08-26 11:53:26 AM
They can't even provide this service to SA's own citizens. I applied for an unabridged birth & Marriage certificate from home affairs November 2012, I'm still waiting. Ready? They are not!!
Eddie Guild 2014-08-26 11:56:05 AM
Not thought through, and the law of unintended consequences will kick in good idea but at 10 billion rand needs a rethink.
Avhashoni Tshatsinde 2014-08-26 12:05:01 PM
There is nothing wrong with the new visa regulations if we are to protect our country. The challenge is about implementation and rampamt corruption in the department of home affairs.
Doug Egbertzz 2014-08-26 12:48:06 PM
It's great how our government has the "let's see what happens" approach to everything. Sanrals e-tolls, land claims, visa restrictions. "Let's see how many ppl we can piss off today with another bogus bill. Haha #hope'npray
Terry Burne 2014-08-26 12:48:14 PM
"British Airways, one of the airlines which has added its name to the appeal, said while the government has explained the reasons for the new regulations, it remains concerned that the consequences may be a decline, particularly leisure travel to South Africa as holidaymakers switch to destinations where the immigration requirements are less onerous." Well BA and the UK in general, you can go and get stuffed! I have just had to fork out R13,500 to buy another ticket for my daughter who was headed to a conference in Vienna, but was refused permission to board a flight to Heathrow because of your stupid "Transit Visa" requirements for people travelling on a South African Passport. Apparently you don't need a Transit Visa for the UK if you are travelling to Canada or the USA - but you do need a Transit Visa if you are travelling to anywhere else! Go figure! So you are not a threat to the UK National security if you are in transit through Heathrow to the USA or Canada, but you are a threat to their security of you are planning to fly to anywhere else and use Heathrow as a transit.
Willem Proost 2014-08-26 12:54:30 PM
What will happen to children that are in SA on Holliday but are returning to anywhere in the world after September 1
Chantell Carrick Naude 2014-08-26 01:48:51 PM
People can come in South Africa for other countries like they want, but the South African is not aloud to leave.they are shutting us down from the world.