Visa Regulations to kill 21 000 jobs

By Beverly Schäfer MPP, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism & Agriculture:

Statement in the House, 07 May 2015:

Speaker, today I want to talk about how the Department of Home Affairs is about to destroy thousands of jobs. Despite the fact that we in the DA have cautioned the National Minister on the disastrous effects of the implementation of unabridged birth certificates on Tourism, the Minister refuses to budge on his intentions of implementing these regulations, despite having done no Regulatory Impact Assessments whatsoever.

For the umpteenth time, we see the ANC government’s eagerness to enforce legislation on our country that is clearly impacting on growth and job creation. There is only one thing that should be on the mind of every politician every morning – what can we do to stimulate the economy, to grow more jobs for our people.

Speaker, we already see the direct consequences of the new VISA regulations on travel to South Africa and the Western Cape in particular. Research suggests that it will cost the South African Economy 21 000 jobs and around R10 billion. By the end of 2014, the number of visitors from China and Brazil has dropped 70% and 62% from the year before. Here we have it Speaker, the graph speaks for itself.

In the latest Tourism Business Index, 37% of South African tourism businesses claims to have already experienced a negative impact as a result of the pending introduction of the unabridged birth certificates.

Speaker, since I tabled the Standing Committee Report on the New Immigration Regulations in November last year, we have yet to hear from the Department of Home Affairs about our extensive recommendations. The findings in this report Speaker, is already being proven right. The amended VISA regulations brought into effect last year are clearly bad for our economy.

Minister Gigaba has had to back track on numerous occasions making changes to the original legislation. Just yesterday, he announced further changes with the multiple-entry visa for BRICS businesspeople in his Budget Speech yesterday. We welcome this amendment, but call on the Minister to stop messing with the tourism industry in and scrap the demand for unabridged birth certificates in order for families to visit South Africa.