South Africa Parliament welcomes visa reforms announced by Gigaba

SA Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs Hlomani Chauke has welcomed the broad visa-related reforms announced by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday.

“The reforms are aimed at boosting tourism and implementing various visa modifications to enable ease of travel for business people and to attract much-needed investment,” Chauke said in a statement on Wednesday.

As part of the reforms, Gigaba said that documentation proving parental consent for a minor to travel was no longer a requirement. However, it is strongly recommended that travellers carry this documentation, he said.

The visa reforms are due to be implemented ahead of the festive season because of their potential to create economic growth.

“The committee also welcomed moves to increase the list of African countries [whose citizens] do not require visas to visit South Africa. This move has the potential to enhance intra-Africa trade and will give impetus to the Africa Free Trade Agreement recently signed by South Africa,” Chauke said.

“Furthermore, the committee welcomed visa reforms intended to benefit business people from Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries,” Chauke added.

The committee will convene a meeting with the department to get a full brief on the reforms and the implementation plan going forward.

“This will ensure that the committee is adequately equipped to do oversight on the implementation,” Chauke concluded.