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'New visa rules in the interest of SA's security'

Home affairs and Wesgro are hosting a workshop to help unpack and explain changes to legislation.

FILE: A sample of an SA unabridged birth certificate, Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Home Affairs Department says new visa and immigration regulations are in the best interests of the country's security.

The department, along with the Western Cape government's investment arm, Wesgro, is today hosting a workshop to help unpack and explain changes to legislation.

Wesgro CEO Tim Harris says the workshop is an example of how different spheres of government can collaborate, which he says is encouraging.

Deputy minister of home affairs Fatima Chohan says it's concerning the regulations are causing an uproar.

Chohan says the department is willing, wherever it can, to help the public interpret the new rules.

She says her ministry understands tourism contributes significantly to the GDP but generally laws have to be beefed up.

There are fears the regulations could hit tourism hard.

Chohan says South Africa's immigration laws are based on a 1996 model but a lot has changed since then.