Visa changes, new laws, and the other major announcements you need to know about

 ·20 Sep 2018

South Africa’s Cabinet met on Wednesday (19 September 2018) at the Union Buildings in Pretoria to discuss the state of South Africa.

In a follow-up statement published on Thursday, cabinet outlined its discussions and made a number of major proclamations on everything from the economy to new BEE laws.

BusinessTech looked at the biggest announcements below.

Stimulus package

Cabinet deliberated and approved the proposed stimulus package which proposes measures to reignite our economy from a number of related portfolios.

It confirmed that a media briefing led by President Cyril Ramaphosa will be held on Friday (21 September) to present this package.

The economic stimulus package adopted by the nation’s cabinet is aimed at boosting economic activity and confidence in sectors affected by regulatory uncertainty, president Cyril Ramaphosa’s office said on Sunday.

“The stimulus package will include a set of economic reforms covering mining, telecommunications, tourism and transport industries” the presidency said.

“The stimulus package will re-prioritise government spending, within the existing fiscal framework, toward activities that will stimulate economic activity.”

Visa related reforms

Cabinet also received a joint report from the Ministers of Home Affairs and Tourism respectively, on a number of visa-related reforms which will make it easier for tourists, business people and academia to come to South Africa.

The reforms include amendments to the regulations applying to foreign minors travelling to South Africa, which is expected to be gazetted in October.

Negotiations on visa waivers and relaxation of visa requirements for certain countries are also being finalised. Further details will be announced this week.


In line with President Ramaphosa’s call for a moratorium on job cuts resulting from the economic conditions in the country, Cabinet reiterates its appeal to employers that retrenchments must be a last resort, and that other available and innovative ways to contain costs be thoroughly explored to sustain jobs.

Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has previously refuted media reports that government plans to retrench 30,000 public servants to cut costs.

New legislation

Cabinet approved the following bills for publication for public comment:

  • Employment Equity Amendment Bill of 2017 – The amendments seek to strengthen the compliance mechanisms and will allow for the setting up of employment equity sector-specific numerical targets. The Minister of Labour, in consultation with the sector’s stakeholders, will be able to set employment equity sector-specific numerical targets.
  • Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill – The amendments seek to strengthen the curatorship provisions for banks, including mutual and cooperative banks, and certain non-banks.  The changes will ensure that should these financial institutions experience difficulties, they can be assisted in a way that protects vulnerable depositors with minimal disruptions to the financial system and broader economy.

Read: South African stimulus package to include telecoms reforms

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter