Today's Big Stories

Tourism body may take government to court over unabridged birth certificates

The Southern African Tourism Services Association (Satsa) says it may be forced to take legal action against government in order to have strict laws around unabridged birth certificates scrapped.

Children under the age of 18 are required to carry unabridged birth certificates when entering the country.

Satsa CEO David Frost says that they are considering all their options and receiving legal counsel, but a court battle will be the last resort.

According to Frost, 13 000 visitors have been turned away from South Africa since the controversial visa regulation were introduced in 2015.

He explains that the laws for in-bound travellers have not been relaxed, despite minor amendments made last year.

He says the requirement that visitors travelling with minors produce unabridged birth certificates is still being enforced.

Frost claims that the Department of Home Affairs have semantically changed the wording of their gazetted bill to read that immigration officials may require travellers to carry unabridged birth certificates for minors.

He advises that the regulations have had a negative effect on the tourism industry, acting as a deterrent to foreigners wanting to visit the country.

Beyond the unabridged birth certificates, Frost says that the overall visa regulations have made travel process cumbersome for potential tourists.

Listen to the full conversation from The John Maytham Show:

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