Johannesburg - Home Affairs has suspended 26 officials in a crackdown on document fraud and corruption, but Minister Malusi Gigaba remained dismissive about claims the new visa regulations negatively affected tourism.
Speaking at Sunday’s governance and administration media briefing, Gigaba said opposition to the new visa regimen, including unabridged birth certificates for travelling minors, was based on “lies” and “cooked up figures” - and criticised the domestic tourism industry for “not selling South Africa as well as it should”.
The minister said a drop in tourism arrivals was anticipated when the new visa regimen came into force, but numbers would pick up again as people learnt to comply.
There were factors other than the visa rules in play in tourism, including misconceptions South Africa was also affected by the ebola outbreak in three countries in West Africa.
However, Gigaba acknowledged the inter-ministerial committee established to look into and redress “potential unintended consequences” had made many proposals.