South African Tourism has welcomed new legislation softening entry requirements for families travelling to the country.
Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has signed a waiver allowing foreign children to enter South Africa without carrying additional supporting documents, which he said he was confident would have a positive impact on tourism to South Africa.
It means children from countries where visas are not required, such as the UK and Ireland, are no longer required to bring consent letters or unabridged birth certificates showing details of both parents for all international travel to and from South Africa.
The ministry has also written to Iata confirming the change and that these documents will not be sought at check-in.
Foreign children who require a visa for South Africa do not need to carry additional documents for inspection as these will be processed as part of their visa application.
South African children, though, are still required to provide supporting documents, in line with the requirements of the country’s children’s act. The same applies to unaccompanied foreign children, South African Tourism has confirmed.
Motsoaledi said: “This improvement in our admissions policy builds on the work the department has been doing to contribute to economic growth and investment.
“As of Friday (8 November), foreign children can enter and depart the country without being required to provide birth certificates, consent letters and other supporting documents relating to proof of parentage.
“We anticipate this change will have a positive impact on tourism as we approach the holiday season,” said Minister Motsoaledi.
Kgomotso Ramothea, acting hub head UK and Ireland at South African Tourism, added: “The Department of Home Affairs and Department of Tourism announced in December 2018 South Africa had officially updated its international entry regulations, so for the waiver to be signed by the Minister of Home Affairs was the final piece of the puzzle.
“We are delighted the Department of Home Affairs and Department of Tourism of South Africa have officially updated its international entry regulations. We look forward to welcoming even more families from the UK and Ireland to South Africa.
“It is great news for the destination as the relaxation of entry requirements will undoubtedly help increase our visitor numbers in 2020 and beyond.”