Review panel needed for new Visa regs – DA

FILE PICTURE: Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Fatima Chohan. Picture: Christine Vermooten

A review panel is needed to revise the new visa regulations which came into effect this week, said Democratic Alliance MP James Vos on Thursday.

“I will move a motion in the House to request a debate on the establishment of a review panel to revise the visa regulations that are harmful to the tourism industry, business and ordinary citizens at large. The proposed workshop is simply not enough,” he said in a statement.

“These regulations are problematic and the government on several occasions has tacitly recognised this.”

On Wednesday, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Fatima Chohan announced, following an agreement with Wesgrow – the Western Cape government’s investment arm, that her department would hold a workshop to address the new regulations.

Vos said the DA was calling for a national review of the regulations as promised by the President Jacob Zuma during his State of the Nation Address in February, and later by the Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba.

He said that a review would help mitigate any further “brand damage and travel cancellations” which all impact the economy.

“It is now common cause both locally and internationally that the stringent new visa regulations introduced this month do nothing to promote tourism, economic growth and job creation in a country which needs all three,” Vos said.

“Nothing less than a full-scale review is warranted to rescue the tourism industry and show responsiveness to the real, legitimate concerns of citizens about the premature and ill-conceived regulations.”

On Monday, new visa regulations, requiring children travelling into and out of the country to carry unabridged birth certificates, were implemented.

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