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Gigaba’s visa changes 'confusing', says SA Tourism Services Association

Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday announced people travelling with children to South Africa would only need to show full documentation in exceptional cases.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba (centre) at a briefing on 25 September 2018. Picture: @HomeAffairsSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Southern African Tourism Services Association (Satsa) has described the Home Affairs minister’s changes to travel regulations as “confusing”.

Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday announced that people travelling with children to South Africa would only need to show full documentation in exceptional cases.

Government wants to make it easier for people to visit the country so as to better harness the potential of tourism to bring in money.

But the tourism body says that Gigaba is only further complicating matters. The Tourism Business Council of South Africa agrees, warning that the requirement that foreign children carry documents will result in fewer visits to this country.

The Western Cape's investment arm, Wesgro, however, says the move is a step in the right direction in boosting trade and tourism.

David Dowson from the British Chamber of Business in South Africa says the regulations are fair.

“We certainly welcome this very much, and we’re making our position fairly clear for some time with South African authorities that the visa regime should be made easier."

Gigaba says that countries such as Russia and Angola that enjoy visa waivers have contributed to the increase in the number of tourists visiting South Africa.

The minister also announced that the development of a new e-visa is at an advanced stage and will be piloted in New Zealand next year.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)