ASATA welcomes deferment of new SA immigration regulations

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The Association of Southern African Travel Agents has welcomed Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba’s announcement that the new immigration regulations that require South African travellers to apply for unabridged birth certificates to travel internationally with their children under the age of 18, which were due to come in to effect on 1 October, have been deferred until the end of May 2015.

The deferment comes after months of fervent lobbying by ASATA and its trade association partners in South Africa, including meetings with both the Minister and Deputy Minister, letters to the Ministry and opinion pieces in the press, to raise awareness of the negative impact these new immigration regulations would have on the travel and tourism sectors.

“We look forward to engaging with the department over the next few months to find a suitable solution for all parties involved, including the appointment of a joint government industry task team that will work to fully understand the objectives, identify international best practice and how these should be implemented effectively for South Africa. We also need to devise and roll-out a global public awareness and information campaign,” said ASATA CEO Otto de Vries.