“South Africa shot itself in the foot when it introduced new visa regulations,” says the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“Both the tourism industry and the airlines understand the damage that will be caused and they have rightly called on the government to rethink the regulations and whether they will be effective,” said Janine Myburgh, President of the Chamber. “Tourism is one of the great success stories of South Africa and it is one of the few industries that continues to grow at a healthy rate. There is no need to interfere. It will be tragic if these unnecessary restrictions stifled this job-creating sector of the economy.”
She said it was also doubtful whether the regulations would be effective in dealing with the problems sited by the Department of Home Affairs.
“The department believes that unabridged birth certificates will curb child trafficking but will it? How hard is it to forge these certificates? If criminals can forge university degrees and diplomas, they will have little difficulty in forging birth certificates. And remember the certificates are examined by immigration officials and not by forensic scientists.”
The department has certain goals in tightening up the regulations but there will also be unintended consequences. “In our view the unintended consequences will be much greater than any good consequences,” Myburgh said.
“We support the stance and action taken by MEC Winde and the Provincial Government in taking this matter to Parliament,” she said.