Mzansi Ministers meet to discuss visa regulation consequences. The interministerial committee on migration‚ led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ is scheduled to meet on Thursday.
The committee — comprising the ministers of home affairs and tourism‚ as well as those from the security cluster‚ among others — was set up to “examine and solve the potential and unintended consequences of the new immigration regulations on various sectors‚ including tourism and investment”‚ Cabinet said last week.
This comes as the tourism sector has bemoaned the country’s new travel measures and actively lobbied government to reconsider them or institute a review. Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom were involved in a public spat two weeks ago about the effect of the new travel regime on the hospitality sector.
Mr Hanekom said during an interview that the visa regulations had had a negative effect on a decline in tourism to the country from key growth markets‚ including China. However‚ Mr Gigaba dismissed the criticism and labelled it “self-generated doubts”.
The Tourism Business Council of SA last week welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s establishment of the committee. The industry body has been one of the most vocal critics of the visa measures.
The council has questioned the level of preparedness within home affairs and foreign missions to implement the new regulations‚ and raised concern about the lack of communication to South Africans and international travellers on the new regime.