Ramaphosa promises to streamline new visa rules

Cyril Ramaphosa says the new visa laws are essential as they are aimed at protecting SA's security.

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa in the National Assembly in Parliament on 12 August 2015. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says several measures will be implemented to improve efficiency with regards to new visa regulations.

On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma announced a team would look at what government said were the unintended consequences of the rules that require children travelling to South Africa to have their unabridged birth certificates.

Zuma said this was going to be a ' wide-ranging committee'.

Ramaphosa says the new visa laws are essential as they are aimed at protecting the security and sovereignty of the country.

But opposition parties argue the lucrative tourism trade has been drastically affected by the new rules.

Answering questions in the national assembly this afternoon Ramaphosa says it's a fine line between security and easier regulations.

"The inter-ministerial committee therefore will be examining all available evidence on the impact of the introduction of these new regulations and will take steps to mitigate any negative consequences."

However, the Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Mmusi Maimane has questioned the reasons for the regulations.

"These visa regulations don't have unintended consequences; your government was warned about these consequences and we knew upfront that these would result in job losses."

Ramaphosa responded by saying government is aware of all the issues that have been raised.

"The minister of trade of industry, the minister of social development, the security cluster and all these ministers are going to bring their experience and knowledge to [the table]."

But the DA'S John Steenhuisen accused Ramaphosa of dodging the questions over child trafficking as this was one of government's main arguments with regards to stricter visa regulations.

"Madam Speaker we put questions to the deputy president so he can answer them and with respect, the honourable [Robert] Gumede asked a very good question… He said how prevalent is child trafficking? It's a good question, it needs an answer and the deputy president didn't answer it."

Turning to political stability in Lesotho, Ramaphosa responded to accusations by Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema of intervening out of personal gain.

Ramaphosa says major progress has been made in talks.

"Honourable Malema, we will not mess it up by going there sent by the governments in the region and pursue personal interests; that is not how I work and I will never work like that."