JOHANNESBURG, 11 November 2019 – International minors travelling to South Africa will no longer require Unabridged Birth Certificates or consent letters when travelling with their parents.
The announcement made by the Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, yesterday comes into effect immediately. All ports of entry, as well as the airline and maritime industries, have been informed following the signing of the waiver by Minister Motsoaledi on Friday.
This announcement finally brings to an end the visa immigration debacle that has raged on for almost 4,5 years, since it came into effect on 01 June 2015, and has cost the local tourism industry millions in lost revenue.
“The news will certainly be welcomed by all in the tourism industry, both in South Africa and around the world,” commented South African Tourism (SA Tourism) acting CEO, Sthembiso Dlamini.
“In all our markets, family travel is a key driver for arrivals and we compete with many other destinations for the share of family travel. The waiver announcement will allow us to proactively and aggressively market South Africa as a family-friendly destination again.”
“Following our recent roadshows to UK, Central Europe and North America, some of the feedback received was that we were starting to lose ground on the family travel market as families were choosing other destinations ahead of South Africa due to the regulations around travelling with minors. With this change, we can now work on regaining this market,” explained Dlamini.
South Africa is an ideal family destination with convenient long haul connections from all parts of the world. The country is also malaria-free making it an attractive option for families wanting to experience safaris and wildlife without having to take medication. Accommodation establishments across the country also cater to the needs of families.
“There is an abundance of fun to be had in South Africa for families travelling with children of all ages and certainly enough experiences to leave lasting memories in both parents and children.”
“As we look to achieve the goal set by President Cyril Ramaphosa, of 21 million arrivals by 2030, waiving the Unabridged Birth Certificate for international minors will certainly prove to be a catalyst for us to achieve the goal,” concluded Dlamini.