DA to petition ministers over e-visas

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance launched a petition on Friday urging the tourism and home affairs ministries to introduce electronic visas (e-visas) for tourists.

The DA wanted both ministries to introduce regulations that would pave the way for tourist e-visas so that jobs in South Africa could be saved, tourism spokesperson James Vos said in a statement.

"A study commissioned by the Tourism and Business Council of SA on the impact of the new immigration regulations indicates that the country may lose 270 000 international tourists."

This would in turn see 21 000 jobs lost annually due to the regulations, costing South Africa R9.7 billion.

South Africa's new immigration regulations introduce a new visa regime. The regulations draw a clear distinction between short-stay visas and long-stay permanent residence permits.

They stipulate that visa applications need to be made by applicants in person, and those wanting to change the status of their visa can no longer do so in South Africa but at missions abroad.

Vos said visitors to South Africa needing to apply for their visas in person was an additional and unnecessary travel expense for those who did not live near South African embassies, consulates or visa centres.

Some potential visitors did not live in countries with these facilities at all.

"Reports from China, one of South Africa’s largest tourism markets, confirmed that marketing packages relating to South African tourist destinations will come to an end by October 1 this year due to this added difficulty."

This was a serious blow to South Africa's tourism industry and would condemn many South Africans to joblessness, without the hope of finding new employment.

"Tourism has been identified in the National Development Plan as a key job driver for our economy. Currently, tourism supports one in every 12 jobs in South Africa," Vos said.

Introducing e-visas would protect jobs and present "significant advantages" by reducing the turnaround times for issuing travel documents.

Vos said e-visas were also more secure than existing permits.

"Electronic visas have proven to be highly effective in comparable countries such as Turkey," he said.

"The DA has therefore launched this online petition for all South Africans and those abroad to register their disapproval of these destructive new regulations, and to express support for our proposal to institute electronic visas."

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MJS1234 2014/08/29 12:44:28 PM
Sounds like a good idea.
Pumeza Namzi Msibi 2014/08/29 12:46:51 PM
Mouna Cox 2014/08/29 01:41:54 PM
I concur....seems the DA are the only people with brains in the national assembly...these new regulations were not sought after...imagine how many people will have to go back to Asia to renew their visas...not to mention some single mothers who will now have to chase the undeserving father and nag for their documents and affidavits that we can travel with our kids....how many fathers out there have denied responsibility of kids, and how are we now expected to ask them for their documents and consent when they have dismally denied responsibility of a kid.....we in for it as single parents, all this jst proves that some rulers have short circuit, only think of themselves and not see other circumstances
Willem Proost 2014/08/29 02:16:40 PM
Not to certain it is good idea SA has over 250000 Chinese most of them illegal .same with Pakistan Bangladesh as well as Nigeria visitors that stay for ever we have neither the will or the resources to check and deport over stayers
Khanya Mgoboza Oko 2014/08/29 03:42:04 PM
Thank you DA...even Senegal has it takes just 8 hours to get a visa,,,come on guys....ANC --- STOP pulling us down,,,People can saving alot of time and money on intrasit accommodation...especially those that do not have RSA embassies in their countries because they have to travel at least 5 days to apply and obtain a visa.....
Fiona Smith 2014/08/29 08:46:58 PM
;as someone who has had to go through the rigmarole of visas for other countries, I know the frustration of it. I say KEEP IT SIMPLE - E-VISA OR EVEN BETTER, NO VISA FOR ANY COUNTRY! it's almost like bribery isn't it. You can come to the country, but you pay!
Cg Tours 2014/09/02 01:40:42 PM
Do you people realise these laws apply to ALL South Africans in foreign Countries overseas and also we have to get E VISAS and go for fingerprinting and Personal Appearance at the Visa Centres when we are traveling as tourists to Overseas Countries.As far as single mothers are concerned, surely they must know WHO the father of their child is and take responsibility. They did not NAG the man to get pregnant surely. The father should have been named in the first place on the birth Certificate and should pay MAINTENANCE. There are DNA Tests as well to prove fatherhood.Running around and creating children like a pastime and hobby is NOT ON Sorry I agree with this and it is for SECURITY and MANY OTHER REASONS as well.!Our borders are TOO porous and ENTRY too unchecked and verified. THESE conditions will ENSURE all is verified before the person even arrives here, like they do to us when we have to go and apply in person..If WE As South Africans have to do so in other Countries who are serious, NOW especially !!about who enters there and for what, then it is HIGH time our SECURITY here is also brought up to International Standards.South Africans moan when International Gang Lords, enter with false documents ( due to lack of pre VISA issued in their own Countries) moan about all the foreign Criminals hiding out here -YET when the BIG PROBLEM we have is being sorted out ,SIMILAR LAWS put in place,like Uk USA JAPAN , Russia, Europe ASIA then they moan on behalf of the foreigners.
Cg Tours 2014/09/02 01:58:58 PM
Very easy to forge E VISAS! We in South Africans have to go in person here in our Country to get visas - so tourists coming here must also do the same.