According to two surveys published by Travelstart, South African families traveling overseas are often still being turned away due to the strict birth certificate regulations set up by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba in 2015.
The surveys compiled data collected from over 500 travellers, a number of travel agents, travel consultants and airline representatives.
It contained questions regarding how they are being affected by the legislation.
The legislation requires all travellers who are traveling with minors to produce an unabridged birth certificate for the minor, as well as a letter of parental consent if the child is not traveling with both parents, when arriving or departing in South Africa.
Travelstart found that all travellers who travel to or from South Africa, regardless of nationality, are affected by the regulation.
The regulation was introduced to prevent instances of child trafficking in 2015. In 2016, however the Department of Home affairs vowed that they would rework the laws, since this regulation effected South Africa’s tourism numbers negatively. They are still in effect.
Data compiled by the Democratic Alliance (DA) shows that South Africa has lost R7.5-billion from blocked tourists.
Travelstart’s surveys found that 30% of respondents had been denied to board due the birth certificate regulation. 67% of them said they still need to apply for an unabridged birth certificate. 41% of respondents said that their application for an unabridged birth certificate took more than 6 weeks to process. This added additional hassles and cost implications to travel outside of South Africa.
Travelstart agents noted that two-thirds of their clients have been affected by the regulation, while 67% of foreign families are being affected.
In many cases, travellers and airline staff at overseas origin airports are left to fend for themselves, with the onus being on the traveller to have the correct documentation.
The article is based on an article from Cape(town)etc.
by Nadene van der Mescht