Minister vs Minister in visa rules fiasco

Gigaba insists that the safety of children cannot come second to chasing profits & tourism numbers.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has described as "brutal and uncaring" the argument against South Africa's new visa regulations.

On Wednesday morning, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom admitted the new laws have had a massive impact on tourism figures and said Gigaba may have got his numbers wrong while justifying these regulations.

"Trafficking is a problem but it may have been slightly exaggerated, some of the figures mooted were not very accurate"

Gigaba is unimpressed with that comment and he says that tourism bodies should stop complaining.

"It appears that Cabinet's agreed processes are being undermined. In the past they have blamed everything else except themselves and their failure to market the country."

Gigaba dug his heels in, saying that the safety of children who face being trafficked cannot come second to chasing profits and tourism numbers.

Hanekom said that tourism from some key countries has dropped by almost 40 percent in the first quarter of this year.

"The effect of the visa regulations is peaking more and more and it's a worrying decline."

But Gigaba says the new visa regulations are not to blame.

"They have created a crisis for themselves and now they are blaming it on the visa regulations"

The minister of home affairs says its "unfortunate" that this issue is being discussed in public by members of the Cabinet as an inter-ministerial committee has been formed to investigate the consequences of the new laws.

LISTEN: Malusi Gigaba stands by new visa laws.

Gigaba says Hanekom should not be speaking out about this issue.

"No individual should be allowed to be part of a Cabinet decision and then go out of the collective and act on his own."

Tourism bodies have said the new visa regulations are damaging their industry and destroying jobs.