The Tourism Business Council of South Africa, of which ASATA is a member association, met with Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom this week to discuss key issues that are impacting the travel and tourism sector in South Africa.
The New Immigration Regulation
Minister Hanekom confirmed he has requested a further 12-month moratorium on the introduction of the unabridged birth certificate. We support Minister Hanekom’s request for a moratorium on the implementation of the legislation regarding unabridged birth certificates, but we wish to see this extended to include the in-person visa requirements. There should be no time limit on the period of the moratorium. Rather, there needs to be a focus on the drivers for the moratorium which include the need for a full review on the Immigration Act, as announced by the President, to be concluded, that true industry input is welcomed and supported and that there is an opportunity to present, and that consideration is given to, global best practice.
The position of ASATA and TBCSA is clear; We want to see the removal of the requirement of unabridged birth certificates for children under the age of 18.
A number of action items where agreed upon on which we will report back in due course. While every effort is being made to have this requirement rescinded, members are reminded that the implementation is expected to proceed 01 June 2015.
ASATA CEO Otto De Vries is heading up the TBCSA’s Immigration Regulations Sub-Committee.
Revised B-BBEE Act
We raised our concern that although the charter has yet to be published the implementation date remains 01 May. The TBCSA subcommittee, of which Otto is a member, is meeting today (10 April) at the ASATA offices to discuss further comment to the re-aligned Tourisms B-BBEE scorecard which is now with the Dti and likely to be published for comment for no more than 60 days within the next week or two.
Our industry’s B-BBEE profile and in particular how our sector may have improved over the years will also be discussed, to support our comments to the Dti.