Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that measures would be taken to make it easier for foreign tourists to visit South Africa. However, the recent press conference by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has sparked doubt.
SATSA’s statement comes as Minister Gigaba confirmed that while foreign minors travelling to South Africa will no longer be required to carry the Unabridged Birth Certificates, it is strongly recommended that they do. Immigration officials, he says, will only demand the documentation in high-risk situations.
“Following the President’s announcement, we had expected full clarity to be provided jointly by the Ministries of Tourism and Home Affairs on how the regulations would be amended to give effect to the President’s proposed changes to immigration and visa regulations to help stimulate the economy," says David Frost, CEO Southern Africa Tourism Services Association, the voice of inbound tourism in Southern Africa.
“Instead, Home Affairs issued an obfuscated message that serves only to confuse travellers, much in the way it did when the regulation was first introduced three years ago.”
Issuing an international travel advisory only in October, after today’s vague statements that a UBC may be requested by immigration officials, simply reintroduces the confusion we fought many years to dispel, and undermines President Ramaphosa’s attempts to make it easier for foreign travellers to visit South Africa, reads SATSA's press release.