Unabridged birth certificate decision is a step in right direction

Date: 14 November 2019 | Author: Thuthuka Maseko Category: Media Statements

Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has welcomed the decision by government to scrap the regulation requiring foreigners travelling with minors to produce an unabridged birth certificate and a letter of parental consent if the child is not travelling with both parents when departing from and arriving in South Africa.

The regulation, which came into effect five years ago, was, according to the Department of Home Affairs, aimed at stopping child-trafficking.

BLSA opposed the regulation from inception and continued to call for it to be scrapped as there was no proof that it helped in aiding and abetting child-trafficking, but instead it had a negative effect on the tourism industry and by extension the economy.

We congratulate Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and this administration for dealing with one of the elephants in our economic room by scrapping this regulation that did not fulfil its intended purpose.

South Africans travelling abroad are still required to produce supporting documents for minors travelling along.

Tourism has been said to be losing as much as 30% in business due to unabridged birth certificate requirements. The impact of this is incredibly dire on the economy and has had a knock-on effect on economic growth and job creation. Whilst it has taken too long to scrap this regulation-but better late than never, we hope that the tourism industry can use this opportunity to recover lost ground. “As much as we know that this struggling economy will take a while to recover, this move is a good start,” said BLSA CEO, Busi Mavuso.

We reiterate the call to government to work hard to create a conducive environment for foreign investment. Investment leads to economic growth, which inevitably leads to jobs. That is what South Africa should be aiming for,” added Mavuso.

This is but one of the areas where government needs to remove policy uncertainty and give clarity. BLSA wishes to commend government on the significant strides that have been made in the other areas that require urgent attention. These include, the Eskom paper, the Integrated Resource Plan, e-Visas, licensing unassigned high-demand radio frequency spectrum and an improved mining charter.

“It is through significant strides such as these that a conducive environment for foreign investment is created thus leading to economic growth and job creation – this is the South Africa we are aiming for,” added Mavuso.