Around 13,000 potential tourists to South Africa last year were turned away at foreign airports because they were not in possession of correct documentation to enter the country.
TourismUpdate.co.za quotes Beverley Schäfer, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism, and Agriculture who came up with these statistics and blames South Africa’s visa requirements for foreign tourists and the necessity for an unabridged birth certificate (UBC) for hampering growth in South Africa’s tourism sector.
“I call on the new Minister of Home Affairs, Hlengiwe Mkhize, to review the tourism visa regulations as a matter of urgency, as this archaic legislation is stifling the job-creating and revenue-making potential that South Africa so desperately needs.”
The reason the former Minister of Home Affairs, who is now the new Minister of Finance, Malusi Nkanyezi Gigaba (better known as ‘The Tourism Terminator’) introduced the UBC legislation, he said, was to curb child trafficking. But Schäfer suggests as a measure to curb child trafficking, passenger profiling and co-operation with Interpol should be carried out. This is the way they do it in other countries.
According to Schäfer the economic benefits of tourism is huge. She says toursim is earmarked to bring R300 billion (€21.2bn) into the economy. In 2014, 711,746 individuals were employed in the tourism workforce.