Immigrations Act: We’ve won the battle but not the war

Jun 12, 2014

SATSA and the Board of Airline Representatives SA (BARSA) have welcomed the Department of Home Affairs’ decision to delay the implementation of a new regulation that children travelling with adults present an unabridged birth certificate when arriving, leaving, or transiting in South Africa.

“It is with some sense of relief that the Department of Home Affairs issued a statement last night that the regulations will now only become effective from 1 October 2014,” SATSA said in a statement.

SATSA has been actively engaging with Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, who in turn has been in discussions with his cabinet colleagues, on the new regulations.

"I would like to assure members that SATSA will continue to oppose draconian legislation that impedes the tourism potential to South Africa," says SATSA CEO, David Frost. "As an organisation we support the need for proper regulations with respect to incoming tourism, but the heavy-handed and non-consultative approach exhibited by the Department of Home Affairs is to be strongly countered."

"This extends to the imposition of biometric visa requiring applicants to appear in person, which will severely impact growing markets such as India and China. Furthermore, we will work with our fellow associations BARSA, ASATSA and Fair Trade in Tourism, through the auspices of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), and our Ministry of Tourism, to seek a more structured engagement with the Department of Home Affairs, where we can assert a tourism agenda in these deliberations."

The airline industry in SA met with the Department of Home Affairs on last week request a 12 month delay to the policy implementation to allow for full and proper consultation and collaboration.

June Crawford, CEO of BARSA, said the association was delighted that there has been an extension of the date of implementation, although the airline industry had yet to receive communication from the department on this development.

Crawford added that BARSA hoped to see in depth consultation between the Department of Home Affairs and the tourism industry.

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