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South Africa to introduce visa concessions for traveling minors

The official announcement came on Friday after a meeting between the director-general of the Department of Home Affairs, Mkuseli Apleni , and the Department of Tourism and the tourism sector on the cabinet concessions of immigration regulations.

South Africa To Introduce Visa Concessions For Traveling Minors

The countries visa requirements have been met with little more than criticism since its implementation 7 months ago with the biggest critic being the tourism sector citing the travel laws as the reason for the serious decline in tourism figures over the festive season.

“In future, what we’re working on is when parents apply for passports for their children, they don’t have to produce the unabridged birth certificates but instead they produce their children’s passports, which will have their details,” said Thabo Mokgola, a spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs.

“There won’t be any need for the unabridged birth certificate to be presented. It’s not the status quo yet, but we’ll make an announcement when we’re ready.”

“This is to address the recommendation on the issuing of a strong advisory for travellers accompanied by minors from countries which are visa-exempt to ensure compliance with unabridged birth certificate-related directives,” said Apleni.

Apleni indicated that his department was “hard at work” to implement these amendments saying; “[The South African government understands] this to be in the interest of the country, its citizens and other persons”.

Apleni said they would also consider waiving the need for visitors from China, India and Russia to have a visa.

It was looking at issuing visas on arrival for persons travelling to South Africa having in their passports valid visas for the UK, US and Canada or other countries that apply stringent checks on visitors to their countries, to ease travel for tourists.

In reaction to this announcement the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association, said the concessions met state security and economic growth.

“We need to go back to our members and digest it - what is encouraging is that there has been some very real and strategic and tactical easing of travel facilitation by the Department of Home Affairs. We’re finally now beginning to work together. Hopefully we’ll be able to finally establish a proper task team to work together to solve blockages,” said the association’s David Frost

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