Tourism to lose billions over new travel laws

Tourism to lose billions over new travel laws

2014-06-10 07:00

Cape Town - New regulations for passengers travelling by air with children will cost the tourism sector over R6.8bn in losses and could result in job cuts, warned the Board of Airline Representatives South Africa (Barsa) on Monday.

The ministry of home affairs amended immigration regulations concerning travelling with children amid concern about the growing issue of child trafficking.

From July parents will have to provide an unabridged birth certificate of all travelling children.

In addition, South Africans and foreigners will have to provide details of the child's father and mother. This will apply even when both parents are travelling with their children.

When children are travelling with guardians, these adults are required to produce affidavits from parents proving permission for the children to travel.  

Unabridged birth certificate applications can take up to eight weeks to complete.  

Airlines will be forced to refuse travel to families not in possession of these documents.

"The financial impact on service providers and reputational damage for South Africa is inevitable", said Barsa.

It also said the timing of the new policy comes at a bad time when South Africa prepares to welcome tourists over the peak European school holiday travel season.

A child denied boarding by an airline ultimately means a family can’t travel and, by industry estimates, until traveller awareness is 100%, tourist arrivals to South Africa could be negatively impacted by up to 20%.

"Based on 2013 numbers, 536 000 foreign visitors could be denied travel."

"The lost income to South Africa from these high value visitors could be over R6.8bn annually inevitably leading to job losses in the South African tourism sector."

The new immigration regulations have been widely criticised.

The Forum of Immigration Practitioners said it had an array of shortcomings which would make it impossible to apply for a work visa or any other visa.

Global Migration SA said it was unconstitutional and could result in litigation against government.

The strict visa rules also threaten to jeopardise South Africa's entertainment industry from future investment as foreign companies consider where to do location shoots and film movies, TV series and commercials.

The travel and work schedules of many A-list actors are such that they cannot return to their home countries to submit applications, said Global Migration SA managing director.

 - Fin24

  • Robert Clive Warriner - 2014-06-10 08:33

    Took me 2 years to get an unabridged certificate. Went back to home affairs every month in that period. Quite reasonable they thought.

  • Chris McComb - 2014-06-10 08:38

    Does this include domestic flights? If so then I am sure losses will be much greater than estimated.

      Justin Pretorius - 2014-06-10 09:27

      Massive losses actually. I doubt my niece will able to fly now to visit her father overseas nor even to me within SA for a holiday

  • Makhumza Khumalo - 2014-06-10 08:42

    Save our kids. But everywhere is corruption especialy to the home affairs. I struggled to remove the marriage which was under my name n id. My family told me im a wife of a foreigner so i must go get my husband where he is. So im saying let the dep of home affairs change its system and Airports too must have strict laws of visatation or whatever bussiness or pleasure.

  • Christelle Fisher - 2014-06-10 08:42

    2 years ago my daughter (14 at the time) and myself had to travel to Slovenia. We applied for a schengen visa and also had to supply an unabridged birth certificate as well as a UNABRIDGED MARRIAGE certificate. With some intervention from SASCOC we received the birth certificate, but are still waiting on the unabridged marriage certificate.

  • William MacFarlane - 2014-06-10 08:43

    As usual , good law , but thought process is flawed . To me , most of the new regulations ( world wide ) are written by people living in little bubbles , win the in o have little or concept of the real world . Bringing in the law in july (northern hemisphere school holiday season ) , will result in cancellations and anger at the country. It would be better if the law came into effect on say the start of the year . It would then allow the travel industry to advice visitors to this country , about the new regulations .

  • Linda Horsfield - 2014-06-10 08:54

    The only thing this new regulation will do is create a new black market for unabridged birth certificates .... thereby doing absolutely NOTHING to stop human trafficking - but making criminals even richer! As crime is the only growing industry in South Africa - perhaps this was the intention - as the ANC promised to grow jobs?!

  • Frik Marks - 2014-06-10 09:03

    And there we go again. Blame everyone but yourself. If you have a child but no birth certificate, who is at fault? Off Course!!!!!! Everybody but the parent.

      karin.devereuxrackley - 2014-06-10 10:01

      OMG....Frik we do have certificates but now need comments before looking like an idiot !!!!

  • Sibusiso Shabalala - 2014-06-10 09:08

    Child safety > Jobs and revenue ...any day!

  • Christelle Fisher - 2014-06-10 09:16

    An unabridged birth certificate is a certificate that you have to appky for if you want to go overseas. This is even if you are in possession of a birth certificate which you received when the child was registered at birth (which now apparently is not good enough any more). The problem is that they did not inform the general public about applying for the unabridged birth certificate, and you only find out that you need it when you have to travel overseas.

  • melanie.kuschke.10 - 2014-06-10 09:33

    Farhida I have an unabridged birth certificate for myself and my two children which took 6 months and no parental information is on them - when I queried it with Home affairs office I was told that is how it is! So where to now? Don't have a problem with the regulation but then get the systems efficient and effective and be able to issue on line straight off secure database!!!

  • Morne Coetzer - 2014-06-10 09:35

    Animal farm.......this is the country we live in......

  • Real Realist - 2014-06-10 09:46

    The CLOWNS have done it again. They often create rules and implement them before proper assessment of the impacts. The CLOWNS must have a paid suggestion scheme for the mini Clowns to come up with the rules.

  • JP Le Roux - 2014-06-10 10:03

    Any law that protects the well being of our children should be applauded and accepted with open arms even if it creates a little more effort from us so for once I can say good job government.

  • Danie Steyn - 2014-06-10 10:11

    Home affairs is a joke. My wife and I Applied for unabridged birth certificates two jears ago so we could go to NZ. We got ours but not my daughter's. Just before leaving, we went to inquire about hers and got told thet it is STUCK IN THE SYSTEM. How do you explain that and how do I get one for her now?.

  • Danie Steyn - 2014-06-10 10:12

    Home affairs is a joke. My wife and I Applied for unabridged birth certificates two jears ago so we could go to NZ. We got ours but not my daughter's. Just before leaving, we went to inquire about hers and got told thet it is STUCK IN THE SYSTEM. How do you explain that and how do I get one for her now?.

  • CornĂ© Dunn - 2014-06-10 10:23

    Great idea, but only if Home Affairs agrees to issue each child (in the whole of South Africa) with an unabridged birth certificate, before the regulations are implemented. Free of charge of course.

  • Ingrid Wellmann Lamprecht - 2014-06-10 10:32

    Does this apply if my child already has a passport and has used it?

  • Stewart Molton - 2014-06-10 10:34

    @This makes SA to complicated and costly a destination, rather go elsewhere.

  • Rochelle Sastri - 2014-06-10 10:34

    Seriously, you are worried about possible loss of tourism? If there is no crime being committed, then the tourists would have no problems adhering to the law. Its when we place more importance on money than on life that we create all these problems for ourselves.

  • Elani Watson - 2014-06-10 10:36

    We immigrated to Australia and it was a MASSIVE effort to get unabridged birth certificates for my 2 kids (we needed it for our permanent residency application for Aus) We waited nearly 5 months and had to get a lawyer involved in the end.

  • joan.darcy.9 - 2014-06-10 10:40

    The problem with this is the lack of advanced notice, a few more months would have been good. It is the right thing to do and has been implemented in other countries. I am just wondering if divorced or separated parents who share custody will have to each be able to apply for a copy for when they travel with the children without the child's other parent. Have foreigners travelling to South Africa also been given enough waning of this and are not going to get a horrible shock when they arrive at the airport to check in?

  • Jake Dunkerley - 2014-06-10 12:45

    I don't know what all the fuss is about, this has been happening for years internationally, because western countries have been trying to prevent divorced parents from kidnapping the kids and taking them to another country, so if a divorced parent travels with their children without the other parent, then they need to show proof that the other parent has given permission to leave the country with the children - the above law is this in essence.

  • Coda - 2014-06-10 13:13

    Yet another stupid ANC BLUNDER

  • Colleen Broodryk - 2014-06-10 13:49

    What does one do when you have already paid for tickets etc? Why was nothing said prior? No one has any information.

  • Stephen Africa Moore - 2014-06-10 14:21

    Well I wont be traveling to SA again just far to much hassle!!!

  • Patience Sibanda - 2014-06-10 14:31

    sars is no longer generating as much Revenue that is required to fund its cabinet due to shrinking tax base etc etc, hence it needs new ways of milking the middle class to pay its way. Last I checked its R 80 to apply for an unabridged certificate, no doubt that price will go up now

      Paige Syndercombe Kandlin - 2014-06-10 17:53

      It's R75 to apply for an unabridged birth certificate. It's also the time and inconvenience. It's a good and noble idea in theory to implement these measures but it's still utter madness to implement in practice.

  • Evert P. Botha - 2014-06-10 14:32

    Oh how I'd pay extra to be one flight without screaming kids.

  • Hauke Liefferink - 2014-06-10 14:36

    This is excellent

  • Paul Westcott - 2014-06-10 14:43

    Our application for an unabridged birth certificate in September 2013 has not yet been successful. The estimate of 6 - 8 weeks is a joke !

  • Kerushen Reddy - 2014-06-10 14:52

    What happens to adopted kids and Orphans?

  • Noreen Hanora Hughes - 2014-06-10 16:55

    Took me 5 years for one son and 6 years for the 2nd to get their ubabridgeted birth good lunch with that

      Noreen Hanora Hughes - 2014-06-10 16:59

      Sorry good luck

  • Adair Victoria Cross - 2014-06-10 18:41

    Child trafficking is a problem in Africa.Border officials are being bribed to turn a blind eye so how will this legislation help?

  • Joseph Tettey - 2014-06-10 18:49

    What is wrong in protecting 'our' children? Plan your trip if you intend travelling with your child.The Airlines can carry illegal goods if their motive is profit only.The country cannot kowtow to companies and individuals because of financial gain.The Government must level the playing field,abide by it or perish.Which jobs?We have had so much of your threats.There are Laws in every society.Americans don't sell cocaine at the White House because of jobs.

  • Theresa Halse Fawcett - 2014-06-10 20:08

    I went through border on weekend and watched someone go through with a cancelled passport and that was not picked up. If you want to stop a problem educate your staff at border to make sure kids not drugged or forced there. Identify fake passports. How are all our seasonal workers who don't even have a birth certificate going to manage to get a full birth certificate. What plans are going to be made for borders who travel a lot with friends? How do you get permission from partners who live overseas? What is the gvt going to do about new perfect hi jacking plan to get children fresh in country with all documentation. What must we do now for next eight weeks traveling while waiting for our long certificates???

  • Antonio Bandarass - 2014-06-10 20:33

    what there

  • Zizile Luvuno - 2014-06-11 04:43

    lol these are all the possible reasons why Zuma is in hospital..he may have realized that he doesn't have much of a say now in government laws..fulfillment of prophecy..just be on the safe side when the 7th trumpet sounds..government will account

  • Samreen Kumandan - 2014-06-11 08:06

    Can we really afford to lose any revenue at this point. Our economy is already worsening. They should be making laws to invite tourism. No one child traffics on an airplane. If the government wants to make laws, they should do so about border control. Why do they always ignore the blatantly obvious??????

  • Willem Van Rensburg - 2014-06-11 08:51

    Again one of those things where a law or regulation is made so stringent that the original idea to transport people stop working. So child trafficking is a problem. The regulation effects only the traveling public and tourism. Traffickers will continue, but no service delivery. It so much look like passing the buck at the cost of tourism, travel and service delivery.

  • Kerri- Lee Barlow - 2014-06-11 10:09

    Can someone please tell me about this getting an unabridged birth certificate from birth. My partner and I travel a lot and we are having our little boy in July. I have been to home affairs and on their website about birth registration and have heard nothing about an unabridged birth certificate now being automatically issued? We are planning to register in the hospital and also the lady there looked at me funny and told me it's a separate procedure. Please does someone have experience with this

  • Abdullah Bin Khalid Ndlovu - 2014-06-11 10:15

    We were the largest economy in Africa until recently now we are no.2 just after Nigeria and soon we will be no.3 because of our-self defeating policies like this. Then soon again we will be no.10.

  • Gail Evans - 2014-06-11 12:00

    Amazing, the article focuses on lost income, and is not counter balanced by the reality of not only child trafficking, but human trafficking especially of women. It is a scourge worldwide and child abuse and pedophilia is a can of worms that is not exposed in the media in it's full horror. If anything, concerned parents should welcome these laws and be supportive of them, not only for their own children but for thousands of children around the world roped into the child se industry.

  • Cathy Polkinghorne - 2014-06-11 16:45

    So you have an unabridged birth certiciate and a child with you - all the certificate proves is that someone was born somewhere. There is no picture to prove that the certificate and the child belong together. So what's the use - except of course to garner extra bucks for the Govt by charging for the service, creating jobs to keep up with the demand. The traffickers will find their own way of dealing with this problem.

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  • Wendy Burridge - 2014-06-23 16:51

    If we all apply for the Birth certificate, how is government going to cope with the increase in applications, the time it takes to get your birth certificate will increase from 6 weeks to 4 months within a short time as everyone scrambles to get their children's certificates ready for increase they need to travel. I do not think that government has considered this at all

  • Alistair Scott - 2014-06-25 17:59

    last year in March 2013 when I applied for my sons unabridged birth certificate, the home affairs computer systems could not handle a foreign passport number for his mother. this led to them being unable to even begin processing his certificate. Now this law is passed and we cannot leave the country, also when I requested an update on the progress of the application, they claim that they do not have any application on record and I must apply once again and wait another 8 + weeks. it is frustrating how inefficient our public services are...

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