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Comment on Unabridged Birth Certificate Visa Issue

UPDATE: JOHANNESBURG, 11 November 2019 – International minors travelling to South Africa do not require Unabridged Birth Certificates or consent letters when travelling with their parents.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Johannesburg, 15 October 2019 – Jerry Mabena, CEO of Thebe Tourism Group, comments on the recent announcement of the abolishment of the requirement for unabridged birth certificates for minors:

“The removal of the requirement for unabridged birth certificates for minors visiting South Africa will make it easier for international tourists to visit us. 

“We welcome this as it will help improve the number of international travellers coming to our shores, especially following the recent decrease of 5% in international tourist numbers to South Africa – as announced by StatsSA last month. 

“The impact of this will most definitely be positive. With South Africa being such a great destination for family travel, this move will free up things for families, in particular, all the single-parent travellers who have long wanted to travel to South Africa with their children.”

Also commenting on this issue while speaking at the Airline Association of Southern Africa (AATA) annual general meeting in Reunion on Friday, AASA CEO Chris Zweigenthal said; “The South African government has acknowledged the negative impact of visa regulations – including the unabridged birth certificate requirement”.

Both of the above statements follow from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent instruction to the Department of Home Affairs to completely rescind the controversial unabridged birth certificate requirement.

In December last year, the government only made amendments to the requirement – including leaving the decision up to the discretion of the officials, and changing words from “must” to “may”.

Since its introduction in 2015, the unabridged birth certificate requirement has caused major problems for travellers to South Africa and the tourism industry.

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