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Home affairs to further discuss new visa regulations

The Home Affairs Department have agreed to host a workshop to discuss the new visa regulations.

FILE: The new rules stipulate people traveling with children into and from the country will have to carry unabridged birth certificates with them. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Destination marketing agency, Wesgro, and the Home Affairs Department have agreed to host a workshop to discuss the new visa regulations which came into effect this week.

Home affairs deputy minister Fatima Chohan met with the agency on Wednesday morning to listen to its concerns with the regulations.

Wesgro's Chief Executive Officer Tim Harris says they discussed the negative effects in three industries; tourism, business and film and were relieved when the ministry agreed to a workshop.

"She's agreed to a workshop together with Wesgro for the next month where we can sit down businesses from the Western Cape and the ministry and work towards solutions around clarity on what the actual regulatory is."

Meanwhile, Unathi Sonwabile Henama, a tourism professor at the Tshwane University of Technology, said, "Visa requirements may be are a travel barrier and may discourage a visit to a destination area in comparison with another more favourable competing destination area.

"However, the visa system is an integral part of the tourism industry, and each country has the ability to allow for free movement of visitors and also to restrict the free movement of visitors for security, political and social reasons. The visa system is therefore a means to limit and control the movement of visitors to a destination."

Henama added that efforts to curb human trafficking in South Africa must be commended but any policy position such as this one might have a positive impact, as well as unintended negative consequences.

It is alleged that South Africa is the only country that will require the unabridged birth certificate as means to combat child trafficking.