14 October 2019
The City of Cape Town has welcomed the announcement by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa that government will implement an electronic visa system and remove the unabridged birth certificate requirement for tourists visiting South Africa.
The City has been in favour of e-Visas for visitors to South Africa for some time, says Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management.
“The introduction of electronic visas will not only provide a real means for protecting jobs in tourism but present significant advantages by cutting turnaround times for the issuing of travel documentation, and are in fact more secure than existing permits. We need to streamline tourist facilitation to our country and especially our cities to make it easier for travellers to select South Africa as a destination of choice when it comes to travel and trade. Ultimately there is a need to cut the red tape and roll out the red carpet,” said Alderman Vos.
Until recently, the government’s visa regulations continued to make it difficult for tourists to select South Africa as a destination due its cumbersome visa application processes.
“Electronic visas have also proven to be highly effective in comparable countries such as Turkey, which is widely regarded to have the best international practice when it comes to visa applications,” added Alderman Vos.
Cape Town is one of South Africa’s leading tourism destinations. This is as a result of the City’s focused approach to growing tourism through facilitating a flow of private sector investment in the hospitality sector and implementing strategies to attract more flight connectivity with countries around the world.
The tourism industry supports more than 300 000 jobs and contributes about R40 billion to the regional economy.
“If we implement e-Visas and scrap the unabridged birth certificate, we will promote tourism, grow tourism spend and develop the economy to create more employment,” said Alderman Vos.
“We are pleased with this announcement because it is positively a victory for the tourism sector and we were delighted to have played our role in making this happen.”