JOHANNESBURG - The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) on Monday welcomed the government waiver on a requirement for foreign minors to carry unabridged birth certificates when travelling to South Africa.
Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi last Friday signed the waiver which will allow foreign children to enter the country without carrying additional supporting documents such as birth certificates and consent letters.
"This is welcome relief and will help South Africa regain its competitive position as an attractive tourism destination," AASA chief executive officer Chris Zweigenthal said.
He said although intended to curb human trafficking, the previous restrictions and how they were implemented had directly resulted in the country’s travel, tourism and hospitality industries losing hundreds of millions of rand in revenue over the past five years.
"Losses were felt as trade went to places that were easier to visit. At the same time local operating costs increased and margins compressed. As a result, jobs were lost, livelihoods negatively affected and revenues derived from taxes declined."
"Reforms such as this waiver will help to strengthen the entire sector and contribute towards the economic rejuvenation of South Africa and the region. This is a good start, but there are still other corrective interventions to be made and unnecessary red tape to be slashed,"said Zweigenthal.
- African News Agency (ANA)