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Ministers in 'rare' public spat over visa regulations

The ministers of Tourism & Home Affairs are at loggerheads over the new visa rules.

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

JOHANNESBURG - As the tourism industry waits to hear if Cabinet will change the new visa regulations, political analysts say the public spat between Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom is almost unheard of.

On Wednesday, Hanekom said on 702's John Robbie Show that the new requirements were hurting the industry.

Then, Gigaba came out defending the regulations and accused Hanekom of undermining Cabinet.

Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa Chairperson Carla da Silva, said international airlines are still complaining about the regulations.

"They're saying to us that it's such a tedious process, it's such a difficult process. The ease of coming to South Africa, whether it's pleasure or business, is so challenging that they're just finding alternatives."

But there's no doubt Gigaba is angry with Hanekom.

He said, "We all should have refrained from making public announcements which would instigate potential conflict."

LISTEN: Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom speaks to 702's John Robbie about the impact of the newly implemented visa regulations on the Tourism industry.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said a public spat like this is rare.

"It could reflect the common frustration as to the direction, or maybe the coherence of policy within Cabinet."

The regulations task team is meeting next week.