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Tourism council urges govt to suspend visa rules

The tourism industry insists the need for unabridged birth certificates has hurt business.

Muizenberg Beach. Picture: Cape Town Tourism.

JOHANNESBURG - The Tourism Council of South Africa has urged deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to suspend the controversial new visa regulations.

The industry is adamant the need for unabridged birth certificates for young visitors has already had a negative impact on business.

It also says it's disappointed with recent comments by senior home affairs officials.

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa has lashed out at home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba over his recent public criticism of the tourism industry in which he said opposition to the visa regulations were based on lies and cooked-up figures.

The council's David Frost says they have had enough of the baseless criticism.

Frost says it has had no consultation with any government body since the implementation of the regulations in June.

The Tourism Business Council says the new strict visa laws have hit their businesses hard, adding they are impractical and should be scrapped.

TOURISM COUNCIL SLAMS VISA RULES

The council adds that the strict visa regulations are irregular, impractical and cannot be implemented by the department.

It says overwhelming evidence from multiple businesses point to the disastrous impact of the new visa laws on the industry.

Frost says, "There is clear evidence, hard data, that these regulations add a severe impact on a major economic sector in our country."

He says the new strict regulations are simply not friendly to the tourism industry and they want them suspended.

"It's our democratic right to speak up on our members' behalf and to question what is going on."

The tourism council adds that these kinds of regulations had huge ripple effects and will put the jobs of millions of people at risk.

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