Foreign minors traveling with both parents, who have the same surname, will soon no longer have to present a birth certificate when entering South Africa.
The Department of Home Affairs recently published the updated advisory. They hope that this relaxation of the rules – whenever it is fully implemented – will help drive tourism numbers up by making it easier for families to pass through South African customs hassle-free.
Minors from countries that require a visa will need to present their certificates when they apply for a visa, but they will not be required to travel with them. This updated version on the rules will only come into “actionable effect” once loaded on to the International Air Transport Association’s Travel Information Manual Automatic (Timatic) system. The programme is able to store all information required about every passenger who flies through South Africa.
Until the regulation update is loaded onto the system, and is viewable by airline check-in staff, the current requirement of children having to produce valid passports and birth certificates for each child traveling, remains in place.
Please note the rule change will not apply to South African children. South African children travelling with one parent are advised to continue producing a birth certificate, as well as a parental consent letter from the non-travelling parent.
Travel and tourism supported 1,5 million jobs in South Africa in 2017, 9.5% of total employment. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is estimating that by 2028, almost 2,1 million jobs in South Africa will depend on travel and tourism, the industry that contributes 9% of the total gross domestic product (GDP) of South Africa. This announcement by the Department of Home Affairs was welcomed, as tourism is a major contributor to South Africa’s economy.
The Department of Home Affairs is determined to strip back some of the strict policies on which documents are required to enter the country. They’re hoping that this will help drive tourism numbers.
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