Scrapping of unabridged birth certificates a boost for SA tourism

In a bid to increase tourism figures, unabridged birth certificates will no longer be required for international minors travelling to South Africa with their parents. File photo.
In a bid to increase tourism figures, unabridged birth certificates will no longer be required for international minors travelling to South Africa with their parents. File photo.
Image: Foto24/Lulama Zenzile/Gallo Images

Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has welcomed the scrapping of unabridged birth certificates for international minors travelling to South Africa with their parents.

Kubayi-Ngubane said the announcement could not have come at a better time, just ahead of the festive season.

“To completely rescind this requirement is a win for tourism and an upside for industry and travellers alike as this has been a real concern raised throughout my engagements with various stakeholders," she said in a statement.

"It will undoubtedly ensure ease of access to South Africa, as the work continues to bring more than 21-million targeted international visitors by 2030 to boost tourism and turn around our economy."

There have been  concerns raised about unabridged birth certificates and their impact on tourism.

“We believe  this announcement will go a long way in helping us to attract more tourists to South Africa as a destination of choice,” Kubayi-Ngubane said. 

When the unabridged birth certificate requirement was introduced in 2015, tourism associations representing inbound tourism services companies said they had received information about travellers being turned away at airports because they did not meet the visa requirements, particularly the birth certificate requirement, reported BusinessLIVE.

The directive was signed by home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Friday.