Despite the recommendations of the committee, chaired by rich kid deputy to fat kid Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa, the requirement that minors travel with the dreaded UBC remains in place and is proving to be the biggest challenge to selling SA’s sunny shores as a family holiday destination.
In fact, even South African families living in the UK find it a challenge to visit their own families back home as the SA Consulate in London is about as effective in issuing these UBCs as the English football team is good at playing Iceland. Visit the SA Consulate to acquire one of the these UBCs and you are confronted with buffoons in the league of Boris Johnson.
Ramaphosa’s committee recommended a special dispensation, in terms of which travellers would be “strongly advised” to bring along proof of the relationship between a child and the parent or guardian, such as an unabridged birth certificate or equivalent document with both parents’ particulars. However, no change has been made to the regulations and airlines are turning away minors who do not have the document. Figures released by South African Airways suggest as many as 40 passengers are turned away each day.
Southern African tourism website TourismUpdate.co.za quotes the Department of Home Affairs Spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete who said there would be a change to the requirement for foreign minors (soon) but South African children would have to continue to be required to travel with a UBC or full birth certificate.
“What we are trying to do is change it from law to a strong recommendation for people travelling into South Africa,” he told TourismUpdate.co.za.
Tshwete said his department was “well on the way” in the process to make this change to the regulation. But you guessed it, he also added that there “was no definite timeline by when the change to the regulation would be made”, emphasising that the priority was to “get it right”.
We all know what that gobbledygook means – he doesn’t have the faintest idea what the hell is going to happen, even if you stick a red hot poker in his left ear. He also said an immigration board had been appointed to look at this specific regulation and an announcement was expected “within the next couple of months”. Meanwhile the tourism industry is going on a diet.
The rule for minors to travel with UBCs was introduced on the back of bullshit. When introducing this rule, the Department of Home Affairs said it would prevent child trafficking “because up to 30,000 children in South Africa were trafficked every year”. This claim is not even close to the truth and has been disproved over and over again by fact-checking organisation Africa Check.