Non-South African travellers no longer need an Unabridged Birth Certificate for minors when entering the country. This rule, however, still applies to South African residents and passport-holders. Many South Africans were left in a particularly difficult situation due to the requirement of Unabridged Birth Certificates or consent letters when travelling with minors. However, foreigners will now be able to travel with a minor without the need of such documentation.
When the Unabridged Birth Certificate requirement was introduced in 2015, tourism associations representing inbound tourism services companies said they had received information regarding some travellers who were turned away at various airports because they did not meet the visa requirements, particularly the birth certificate requirement.
The Government recently agreed to ease some of the more onerous visa requirements in a bid to boost the tourism sector and the broader economy. South Africa offers an incredible destination for a family holiday and this move is expected to increase visitors from all around the world. Unabridged Birth Certificates will no longer be required for international minors travelling to South Africa with their parents. Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has welcomed the scrapping of Unabridged Birth Certificates for these inbound travellers. Kubayi-Ngubane also said that the announcement could not have come at a better time, just ahead of the festive season. The directive was signed by Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Friday, the 8th of November 2019. All ports of entries as well as the airline and maritime industries have been informed following the signing of the waiver, the tourism department said.
South African Tourism (SA Tourism) acting CEO, Sthembiso Dlamini, has welcomed the news that international minors travelling to South Africa no longer require Unabridged Birth Certificates or consent letters when travelling with their parents. Home Affairs minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, announced this change and it comes into effect immediately.
“The news will certainly be welcomed by all in the tourism industry, both in South Africa and around the world,” commented Dlamini.
“In all our markets, family travel is a key driver for arrivals and we compete with many other destinations for the share of family travel. The waiver announcement will allow us to proactively and aggressively market South Africa as a family-friendly destination again. Following our recent roadshows to UK, Central Europe and North America, some of the feedback received was that we were starting to lose ground on the family travel market as families were choosing other destinations ahead of South Africa due to the regulations around travelling with minors. With this changed, we can now work on regaining this market,” explained Dlamini.
“There is an abundance of fun to be had in South Africa for families travelling with children of all ages and certainly enough experiences to leave lasting memories in both parents and children. As we look to achieve the goal set by President Cyril Ramaphosa, of 21 million arrivals by 2030, waiving the Unabridged Birth Certificate for international minors will certainly prove to be a catalyst for us to achieve the goal,” concluded Dlamini.
To ensure the impact of the Unabridged Birth Certificates requirement is immediately reduced ahead of the upcoming tourist season, the Cape Town and the Western Cape tourism industry will be launching a collaborative marketing campaign in direct response, and in celebration of the long-awaited change in the unabridged birth certificates requirements.
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