The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the announcement by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) that it will this month start the piloting process for an online e-visa system. The DA understands that this new electronic self-service solution system will speedily facilitate the movement of low-risk travelers.
This announcement also follows the welcomed move on the part of Government to scrap unabridged birth certificates as a requirement for minors travelling to the country.
This new regulation combined with the e-visa system are indeed a positive boost for our tourism industry. It will go a long way to improving our tourism numbers, particularly in the light of the fact that most tourist numbers to South Africa have been declining.
It is now up to the Department of Tourism to market this facility internationally. This new feature should become a draw-card to South Africa for anyone looking for countries to visit. With e-visa’s being in the pilot phase currently, the Department needs to prepare for when e-visas are rolled out and not wait until it is a reality.
The DA will therefore be submitting Parliamentary questions to Tourism Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane in this regard and we will be requesting that the Department make a presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Tourism on its readiness to deal with the incoming e-visas system.
Tourism is an “easy-win” economic generator and job-creator which National Government must facilitate, require minimum outlay and expenditure yet enjoy maximum return for our economy. For this reason, the DA will continue to pressurise Government to reduce any hurdles and obstacles such as these so that tourism can grow without government hinderance or interference.
Manny de Freitas MP
DA Shadow Minister of Toursim
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