Archive from March, 2018

SA: Increasing jobs and ease of access in tourism sector possible

Tourism Update – 12 March 2018
South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, says increasing jobs and ease of access in the tourism sector is possible.
“Whatever we do in tourism, regarding increased arrivals, translates into a large number of jobs as it is an employment-intensive industry. It is not difficult. If we do the right things, it is achievable,” says Hanekom.
During the Power Lunch interview with CNBC Africa on March 9, Hanekom was responding to a question on the State of the Nation Address (SONA), in which President Cyril Ramaphosa alluded to doubling jobs in tourism from 700 000 to more than half a million.

Minister Hanekom also referred to the call by the President during his SONA to grow the economy by removing regulation barriers. He said if South Africa could make it simpler for international tourists to visit, the country would see an increase in tourist arrivals.
“Our challenges are: intensified marketing and making it easier for tourist to get to South Africa. This will translate into a large number of jobs, which will make a huge difference in [tackling] our unemployment,” said Hanekom.
He went on to emphasise the importance of discussions between the Departments of Tourism and transport on sufficient airlinks and direct routes between SA and other African countries, as part of making it easier and more affordable for people to visit SA.
As part of reducing barriers for travellers, Hanekom also said engagement with the Department of Home Affairs was critical in three areas – the regulations impacting on minors visiting SA; ease of obtaining a South African travel visa; and reviewing the countries that need visas for travel to SA.
“When the visa requirement for Russia was waived, we saw an increase of over 50% of travellers from Russia to South Africa,” said Hanekom, adding that when visas were introduced for New Zealand travellers to SA, there was a 17% decline in visitors. “The only reason for the decline in the numbers from New Zealand was the visa requirement. Therefore the engagement with Home Affairs is critically important,” concluded Hanekom.
This was recently reinstated by a poll conducted by Tourism Update, where readers voted on whether the implementation of electronic visas (e-visas) would have a positive impact on arrivals into SA. 89% voted ‘Yes’, whilst only 11% voted ‘No’.

SA arrival stats for 2017 commentary from Grant Thornton

21 Feb 2018 – Tourism Update
Stats SA released the 2017 tourism arrival statistics this afternoon. South Africa welcomed 10.29 million foreign tourists (visitors who stayed overnight) in 2017. This is up only 2% over 2016.
Lee-Anne Bac, Director: Advisory Services at Grant Thornton says: “This increase is unfortunately underwhelming and significantly below the global average of 7%.”
She added that although the number of overseas tourists (2.7 million) is up 7% in 2017, this growth was driven by excellent performance in the first half of the year. In the fourth quarter of 2017, Stats SA reveals that the number of overseas tourists increased by only 4%, and this figure was driven down by an increase of less than 1% in December 2017.
“We attribute the dramatic decline at the end of the year to the impact of the water crisis in Cape Town, coupled with South Africa’s strengthening currency,” continues Bac.
According to Stats SA, the number of African arrivals (7.6 million) is a mere 0,8% up in 2017 – driven by a significant decline in Q1 of 8%. For the remaining three quarters of 2017, African arrivals increased by 5% (Q2), 4% (Q3) and 4% (Q4) respectively.
“Overall, this level of growth is not good enough for meaningful change and these numbers will not contribute towards sustaining economic transformation,” says Bac. “We are encouraged however, by Minister Malusi Gigaba’s Budget speech this afternoon. In particular we welcome the SA Tourism budget increase from R1.14bn (€79.5mn) to R1.23bn (€85.8mn), an 8% increase – well ahead of inflation, and given that many budgets accelerated by less, we appreciate the commitment by Gigaba to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s SONA statement that we will ‘enhance support for destination marketing’.”
Key source countries with low growth/ declines in tourism numbers in 2017
UK: 0% (no growth over 2016). As the UK is a significant source market, no growth from this market has a big impact on total arrival figures.
New Zealand: down 24% in 2017. A clear indication of the impact of visa regulations on demand.
Nigeria: down 22%
China: down 17% (eroding half the growth from this market in 2016)
Key source markets with excellent growth in arrivals in 2017
Russia: up 51%.
France: 27%
Germany: 12%

Repositioning of Home Affairs to contribute to state security

SA News, 08 March 2018
Home Affairs Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan says the repositioning of Home Affairs within the security cluster allows the department to effectively contribute to crime fighting, among other services.

The Deputy Minister said this when Ministers in the Security Cluster fielded questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

She was responding to a follow-up question by ANC MP Buoang Mashile who had asked, what benefits could be derived from the department’s repositioning into the security cluster.

“The security of the state is premised on a few things. The first is to secure borders and with the soon to be passed Border Management Authority, this aspect will certainly be given a boost.

“In addition, the repositioning of the department in the security cluster has brought increased cross-sectional cooperation and alignment, particularly with regard to those sectors in the criminal justice area where there are major dependencies on Home Affairs services in relation to crime fighting, managing prisoner populations as well as repatriations for example.

“Clearly, these are natural benefits to be had with this kind of repositioning,” she said.

The Deputy Minister fielded questions after Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba could not attend the sitting of the House due to health reasons.

Addressing MPs on Wednesday, the Deputy Minister said the aim of the repositioning of Home Affairs was also to build a modern and secure department.

“Our first priority is to ensure that the identity and civic status of all South Africans are secured on the population register.

“The second priority is to manage international migrations securely and efficiently.

“Thirdly, we hope by these efforts in terms of our modernisation digitisation efforts to build a solid platform to enable the state to improve its efficiencies and derive maximum benefits from scarce resources. The second part of the question – once the Boarder Management Bill is passed the department will in addition have a mandate of the security and necessarily this is a work in progress.”

Someone is acting on my behalf. How do they communicate with you?

Someone is acting on my behalf. How do they communicate with you?

If you want other people to receive documents for you, you have to authorise another person or nominate a migration agent to receive documents on your behalf via a power of attorney form

How will I know if my visa application has been approved?

How will I know if my visa application has been approved?

We will tell you or VFS or Embassy will let you know by email or sms
If the visa is granted, we will let you know:
• when you can use the visa
• when the visa will be inserted in your passport r
• any conditions attached to the visa.
If the visa is not granted, you receive a letter from VFS or Embassy advising:
• why the visa was refused
• your review rights (if any)
• the time limit for lodging an appeal (if applicable).

How can I protect myself from email and internet scams?

How can I protect myself from email and internet scams?

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from email and internet scams:
• Check the website address carefully because even one different letter can mean that it is a different website. All South African Government websites end in
• Never give out your personal information unless you know who you are dealing with and you are sure you are using a secure website. Secure websites have a padlock in the browser window or a secure URL at the beginning of the website address.
• You should use our official website to apply for a visa because our website is safe and we can track your visa application as we process it.
• It is easy for illegal operators to copy a real website or make one that looks professional. When you are searching for a registered migration agent, check the Forum of Migration Agents to make sure you have the right web address.
Here are some other things to look out for:
• emails sent from free web mail addresses such as Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts
• emails asking you for your personal information or starting the email with ‘Dear Customer’ instead of your name
• emails from strangers who are advertising a website – do not click on any web links in these emails
• email offers of a job with a very high income.

Why has my visa application been refused?

Why has my visa application been refused?

Your visa application could be refused for a number of reasons, such as:
• you have not met the conditions of a previous visa
• you did not provide enough information to prove the claims you made in your application
• you do not meet South Africa’s health or character requirements
• you gave the wrong information, or made a false claim in your application
For details on what you can do next, refer to our article on Appeal Process or contact us for assistance