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Tourism Dept says no new visa review

Officials however said Cabinet was closely watching an existing review closely.

Home Affairs Director General holds up a sample of an SA unabridged birth certificate, Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - There is no new review of controversial visa regulations, the Department of Tourism said on Friday.

Officials however said Cabinet was closely watching a continuing review closely.

Government on Friday morning released a statement at a World Economic Forum meeting, saying South Africa is committed to an open immigration policy that enables tourists and investors to enter the country.

The Home Affairs Department said the tourism industry itself was responsible for a reported 32 percent drop in plane ticket sales to South Africa.

New visa regulations came into effect on Monday, requiring people with children to have unabridged birth certificates when travelling to South Africa and for people coming here obtaining biometric visas first.

South African Tourism Services Association's David Frost says the Home Affairs Department hasn't implemented these regulations properly and South African Airways was suffering as a result.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom on Thursday said there would be a new review of these regulations.

Officials now say there is already a review underway that is being performed on a continuous basis.