Speaking during a question-and-answer session in the National Assembly, Ramaphosa said the aim of the IMC – which he would be chairing – would be looking at finding remedies to the “unintended consequences” of a stricter visa regime.
“Government is aware and very much alive to the concerns that have been raised by a number of people with regard to these regulations,” Ramaphosa said of complaints raised by opposition parties and businesses in the tourism sector that the new regulations were having an impact investment, and visitor numbers to the country.
“The process being led by the IMC…aims to address all related matters that have to do with the impact of the immigration regulations implemenation and we are going to try to find a rational and implementable method of bringing about that balance so that we do not sacrifice our security, but at the same time we also deal with the negative economic impact that has been brought about.”
President Jacob Zuma announced the establishment of the IMC on Tuesday.
Ramaphosa said the cabinet committee would be made up of ministers in the security cluster as well as their colleagues in home affairs, tourism, trade and industry and social development.
He would not commit to time frames, but said the committee’s work would be evidence based.
“Following their deliberations there will be a report tabled to cabinet and thereafter an announcement will be made,” Ramaphosa said.
The visa regulations which came into effect this year require those travelling with children to do so with an unabridged birth certificate.
Last year, regulations were introduced which compelled travellers to lodge visa applications at South African missions in their home countries.