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Zim welcomes postponement of SA visa rules

Obtaining birth certificates is already an onerous process in Zimbabwe.

The new rules stipulate that a child travelling abroad must have an unabridged birth certificate, a passport and written permission if they aren’t with their parents. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN.

HARARE - The decision by the Department of Home Affairs to postpone the new immigration regulations for nine months has been widely welcomed in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

The new rules stipulate that a child travelling abroad must have an unabridged birth certificate, a passport and written permission if they aren't with their parents.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba announced today that the regulations will only come into effect next June.

The department's announcement has come as a welcome relief to Zimbabweans.

Obtaining birth certificates is already an onerous process in Zimbabwe and the delay in the regulations will give locals more time to prepare for when the rules are implemented.

However, a number of Zimbabwean travellers have revealed they were already being asked for birth certificates for their children at the Beitbridge Border Post, saying the requirement has been in force unofficially since last year.

The regulations were scheduled to kick in on 1 October to the consternation of the travel and tourism sector.

Gigaba says the postponement will give the travel and tourism industry time to inform travellers of the new requirement.