While the SA economy wallows in huge debt following series of reported wasteful spendings, the DA has revealed yet more billions wasted due to issues with the SA visa rules.
The DA shadow minister of tourism, James Vos revealed that a visa regulation introduced in 2015 which blocks travelers who do not carry an unabridged birth certificate for their children, has prevented more than 13,000 tourists from entering South Africa thereby costing the wider economy billions in lost revenue.
Citing data from the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), which showed that 13,246 people were denied entry into the country between June 2015 and July 2016 because of the contentious rule, James Vos said money worth R7.5 billion revenue has gone down the drain due to the “crazy visa rules”.
The report by TBCSA reveals that an average tourist spends around R13,000 per day in South Africa. This means that potential revenue of around R7.51 billion has so far been lost because of the regulation.
The heavy visa rules was set for a change in February 2016, with proposed amendments allowing for parents to have their ward’s identity included in their ID documentations – removing the need to travel with a birth certificate.
The DA laments that the visa rules are yet to be changed even as the year draws to an end. The party further noted that for now, inbound travelers are still required to have original birth certificates – copies of which must submitted during the visa application process.
The regulations were initially introduced under the banner of clamping down on child trafficking in South Africa.
DA’s James Vos said the party will address the mater in the parliament as it continues to push for the introduction of an e-visa system, where potential tourists could submit necessary documentation well in advance.