Visa reform hailed as a way to 'boost economy without spending money'
Cape Town - The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has hailed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that visa relations will be relaxed to facilitate tourism and visits by business and highly skilled individuals.
Ramaphosa speaking at a press conference on Friday announced new measures to reignite growth and stimulate economic recovery.
Chamber’s president Janine Myburgh said the visa measures would help boost the “thriving” tourism sector in the Western Cape.
“What the visa changes show is that ways can be found to boost the economy without spending money. Sometimes all the government has to do is remove the hurdles and growth will take place,” said Myburgh.
She said the Chamber would now like to see a systematic search for hurdles and red tape to free up the economy and give business the space to grow and create jobs.
“The visa problems and the solutions had been set out very clearly for the government only to be met with stubborn resistance and a refusal to understand the damage being done to the economy and job creation,” said Myburgh.
Ramaphosa said his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping had told him prospective Chinese visitors were being kept away by South Africa’s visa architecture.
The changes to visas regulations will include amendments to the regulations applying to foreign minors travelling to South Africa and negotiations on visa waivers and relaxation of visa requirements for certain countries.