Cabinet was briefed on the progress on the Inter- ministerial committee
on Immigration Regulations which was led by the Deputy President.
The President had set up this IMC so as to investigate the unintended
consequences that were raised by the stakeholders in the tourism
sector. Having investigated and explored areas that can be adjusted to
deal with both the security consideration and the unintended
consequences the IMC made the following recommendations.
Application in person:
Concessions that will take effect within the next 3 months.
Countries where no South African missions exist, the Department
of Home Affairs (DHA) will accept applications sent by post.
Thereafter, the biometrics and photos of those travellers will be
captured on arrival at ports of entry. This concession will only be
applicable to visitors/medical Visa.
The DHA will implement the biometrics (including fingerprints and
photos) at ports of entry starting. The pilot sites will be at OR
Tambo Airport; King Shaka Airport and Cape Town International
DHA will introduce an Accredited Tourism Company (ATC)
Programme for China, India and Russia with possible extension to
other visa requiring countries.
DHA will continue to issue a long-term Multiple Entry Visa to
frequent travellers. This will be valid for a period exceeding 3
months but not exceeding 3 years.
Concessions that will be effective within 3 months to 1 year.
DHA will increase Visa Facilitation Centres (VHC) in China, India,
United Kingdom, Nigeria Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola,
Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. The DHA will fast-track the opening of
VFC in Zimbabwe, UAE and Botswana.
Concessions that will be effected beyond one year.
The DHA will install systems for pre-flight checks (including
operation-centres) at international airports.
The DHA will upgrade Advance Passenger Processing (APP)
systems and implement a Passenger Name Record (PNR) to
enhance risk assessment.
The DHA will finalise the automation of the visa and permitting
Child-travel requirements: South African children.
In respect of South African children (outbound travel) the IMC accepted
the implementation of the current child-travel requirements, including
the parental consent affidavits as these seek to protect children.
Concessions to be effective within the next 3 months.
School principals will issue letters confirming the permission for
children to travel on school tours. This authority will also be
extended to include registered sports bodies.
The validity of the Parental Consent Affidavit will be extended to a
period no longer than 6 months.
Concessions to be effective within the next 3 months to a year.
The term “Unabridged Birth Certificate” will be changed to “Birth
Certificate containing parental details”
Details of parents will be printed in passports, so that parents
whose particulars are printed would therefore not be required to
carry birth certificates.
Child-travel requirements: foreign children.
In respect of inbound travellers, the IMC took the position that where
visas are required, provision of original birth certificates or certified
copies of required documents should continue during the visa
application process as this is in line with practise in many other
In respect of children from visa-exempt countries, the IMC
recommended a dispensation in terms of which:
Travellers will be strongly advised to bring along proof of the
relation and consent from the absent parent/s or guardian/s
All the other administrative issues affecting the relevant departments
will be resolved through inter-departmental engagements.
Cabinet endorsed these recommendations and believes these will
address the unintended consequences that were raised and also the
safety of the children will not in any way be compromised.
Cabinet further endorsed that the DHA should facilitate the legal
instrument to implement the recommendations. It further mandated all
the relevant departments to engage with their relevant stakeholders to
present these approved recommendations.
Cabinet extended the life of the IMC in order to be able to deal with any
issues that may arise whilst implementing the Cabinet decision.