Breaking: IMC Proposal – Bad News For Locals
Good news for foreign tourists – the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) tasked with reviewing South Africa’s immigration regulations has recommended that bio-metric visa applications be made on arrival in South Africa. Accredited international travel agents will be able to make visa applications on their clients’ behalf, negating the need for in-person applications.
Also and finally, foreign minors will no longer be required to produce an unabridged birth certificate when travelling to and from SA. Meanwhile, South African children under the age of 18 will still be required to travel with an unabridged birth certificate, but the term “unabridged birth certificate” will be changed to “birth certificate containing parental details”. The wording will be changed to “address confusion”, the committee said.
The recommendations have been approved by Cabinet. Speaking to the media yesterday morning, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said he supported the recommendations and believed they would deal with the issues that the regulations had raised. I can hear a John Robbie of the popular 702 radio talk show celebrating as he was ever so vocal about these issues, and rightly so.
Tourism is one of the most important industries for any nation, so making it easy for tourists to arrive and depart, without much hustle whilst keeping a keen eye for the issues surrounding human trafficking and other criminal acts is paramount to a good move forward. Malusi Gigaba SA’s Home Affairs Minister will be licking the wounds of his bruised ego as he was hell bent on not seeing any reason on this matter.