Govt to take a long, hard look at visa regulations

A task team led by Cyril Ramaphosa will establish the impact the new rules have had on tourism & jobs.

President Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Louise Mcauliffe/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Government is set to take a long hard look at controversial new visa and immigration regulations to establish their impact on tourism and jobs.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday said the inter-ministerial committee established to consider the issue will meet soon and then report to Cabinet, after which an announcement will be made.

Answering questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday, the deputy president made it clear that government would seek a balance between the country's security, the fight against child trafficking and any economic and social impact.

The new visa rules have fueled tensions between Cabinet itself between Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom and his Home Affairs counterpart Malusi Gigaba.

Ramaphosa also said the committee will look at the facts.

"We are willing to try and find a rational and an implementable method of bringing about a balance so that we do not sacrifice our security, but at the same time we also deal with the negative economic impacts that have been brought about."

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane said tourism had been one of the few sectors creating jobs

"Your government was warned about these consequences. We knew upfront the fact that this will result in job losses."

Maimane claimed there was no proper order to determine the actual security threat requiring the new visa regulations.

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. _