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South Africa’s crazy visa rule has cost R7.5 billion in lost revenue: DA

South Africa’s crazy visa rule has cost R7.5 billion in lost revenue: DA

A visa regulation introduced in 2015 which blocks travellers who do not carry an unabridged birth certificate for their children, prevented more than 13,000 tourists from entering South Africa – costing the wider economy billions in lost revenue.

This is according to DA shadow minister of tourism, James Vos, citing data from the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), which showed that 13,246 people were denied entry into the country between June 2015 and July 2016 because of the contentious rule.

The average tourist spends around R13,000 per day in South Africa, TBCSA said, meaning that potential revenue of around R7.51 billion was lost because of the regulation.

The onerous visa rule was set for a change in February 2016, with proposed amendments allowing for parents to have their child’s identity included in their ID documentations – removing the need to travel with a birth certificate.

However, these rules have yet to be changed. For now, inbound travellers are still required to have original birth certificates – copies of which must submitted during the visa application process.

The regulations were initially introduced under the banner of clamping down on child trafficking in South Africa.

The DA said it would address the matter in Parliament this week, while pushing for the introduction of an e-visa system, where potential tourists could submit necessary documentation well in advance.

More on visas

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How South Africa’s new visa requirements are killing the property market

How to simplify SA’s confusing visa regulations

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  • Dewald Alberts

    Exactly, and tourism is the one thing that this country needs to cherish and develop, this like many other laws & rules are made without thinking of the consequences. There are many opportunities to grow this industry which the red tape kills between conceptualization & implementation. It is also time that our heritage (recorded history) be placed as a major attraction apart from the fact that our natural (scientific) history is totally under marketed. In the period of 12 weeks not 1 tour was undertaken to either the Cradle of Humankind nor to the Origin Center (Wits). This statistics is a first hand experience relating to one of the major Tour Marketing Companies in SA & specific to Spanish speaking tourists.

  • This was not “South Africa’s” crazy rule. Like most of the moronic high level decisions in this country, they are forced own our throats by the cANCer and their cronies, while everyone else opposes it.

    The cANCer is quite literally destroying everything good in this country due to their arrogance, stupidity and greed.

  • 19093011

    I disagree. I believe that even if it stopped one child from being trafficed or worst, then it is worth it.

    • Frik De Wet

      Why stop there then? Lets also ban all cars from the roads. If it just saves one child from dying in a car accident, it will be worth it.

      • 19093011

        They are not banning people from coming or leaving the country with kids. All they are doing is saying that you need to prove that this is your kid. I don’t believe this is going too far. In April, we took our kids outside the country and had to get the their unabridged birth certificates, took 2 x couple of hours on a Saturday morning. In all honesty it was a hassle, but I did not mind.

        • Wari Murphy

          The point is, it’s not the rule that’s the problem, but the completely inept and corrupt way in which it’s been applied. Snafu, then.

        • Konstabel Koekemoer

          The bigger problem is not South Africans travelling to other countries but foreign visitors to SA.

        • Gemma Tell

          I take it you left and arrived at an airport. The land borders are large and unmanned. The main trafficking goes on there. Pity the eager Home Affairs officials don’t do patrol there, where hundreds are smuggled through.

    • Konstabel Koekemoer

      I don’t belive a single case of child trafficing has been stopped by this regulation. The criminals always find the loopholes which are plenty thanks to our corrupt officials and totally porous land based borders.

    • Tokolosh Nkosi

      The children are not coming in plains, they come thru the porous borders of the country, by land!

  • Adroit

    “The average tourist spends around R13,000 per day in South Africa”

    I really don’t think so.

    • Dewald Alberts

      You may be surprised…..

    • Fanandala

      Most likely not quite that much, but South Africa is not the average holiday for northern Europeans, who flock in considerable numbers to places like Spain, Greece, Egypt and even Thailand (further than SA for them but cheaper)

  • the-TRUTH

    South Africa’s crazy visa rule has cost R7.5 billion in lost revenue – all thanks to VFS Global, the company contracted by Department of Horror Affairs. Our country is losing billions of GDP while VFS Global (a company with links to President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane and the Gupta family) rakes in billions…
    Yes, Guptas again – VFS Global directors are Duduzane Zuma and Rajesh Gupta
    Let’s #VoteOutANC during 2019 national elections
    #ANCMustFall and its corruption

    • lino_lupus

      Actually Malusi Gigaba is the clown-in-residence…I think……

  • RedViking

    The problem is not so much the ‘rule’ itself. The problem is that the ‘system’ couldn’t support the rules they have put in place. If they had a working national and international system this would not have been a problem. They just simply couldn’t handle the number of applications for unabridged birth certificates. They have a similar mess with the renewal of motor vehicle licenses. The municipalities can’t handle all the number of renewals and update of information that needs to happen. But then again a majority of the government doesn’t think, they just act.

  • meep

    By the end of this year, it will be even more. The visa process serves to simply frustrate law abiding citizens and create more red tape.

  • CharlieTango

    And now Home Affairs has shoved biometric scanning into the mix without the necessary trained personnel in place to manage it. All while the useless Minister of Home Affairs sits on his hands. But then with the ANC a few billion lost here or there is no big deal.

    • Blapartheid Zulu

      Like the SABC, they will say something like, “some people were expecting trillion in losses, I’m sorry to disappoint”. Its only a few billion….

  • Tokolosh Nkosi

    Somebody is making more money out of South Africa again.

  • Anthony

    I don’t get the numbers. R7.5 billion divided by 13000 tourists is R576 923. So tourists really spend this much each in SA (excluding flights as SA doesn’t get that money)

  • Anthony

    Not only the rule is stupid but so are the people policing it. A college of mine’s wife was prevented boarding a plane from Durban to George because she did not have her kids birth certificate.

  • Toni

    Stupid Gigabyte will never admit he brought a stupid law that he cannot implement. I know of people who have waited over a year for the unabridged birth certificate because of the useless cadres at Edenvale Home Affairs. When they left SA the home affairs told them they can carry the original application form and they went out fine. When they tried to board at Orlando Airport in Florida USA the guy refused to let the child in. The flights had to be cancelled and a letter obtained from Embassy in New York. The Embassy staff were very unhelpful. But thru all this Home Affairs will never admit they stuffed up. I dont think it is in the ANC genes to admit you were wrong as it will show your stupidity. Even the new Biometric scanning is a shambles but the blame Treasury for not giving them enough money. So dont try to implement first world technology in a third world country if you dont have the resource. And ask Gigabyte to travel economy class. Why must the idiot fly first or business class. That is because they have an inflated ego all the ANC clowns.

  • SA First

    Tourism is the one industry that can grow and create jobs and Home Affairs doing their best to screw it up. The Chinese market is Massive and hasn’t even been tapped properly yet. SA should waiver tourist visas completely for all BRIC countries, especially China.

  • SA First


  • Araleah Blood

    And then there are those of us who are prevented from travelling at all. Been waiting for a year and a half to get an unabridged certificate for one of my kids. And home affairs are as helpful as a pile of potato peelings >;(

  • JoeCitizen3

    Its like the Horror Dept (Home Affairs) ……EISHHH…… money gets milked again…TIA

  • Blapartheid Zulu

    Making the country poor is a step forward by moving backwards, must be the motto of the anc.

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