Intergate attends public hearings

Intergate attends public hearingsLast week the Western Cape Provincial Parliament’s standing committee on agriculture and economic development held public hearings on the regulations in the schedule to the immigration act.

Intergate Immigration Director, Monya Flier, addressed the committee and stakeholders on behalf of Intergate Immigration.

Key speakers included Minister of Economic Opportunities Mr Alan Winde, Cape Town Tourism CEO Mr E Duminy, and International School of Cape Town’s Principal Mr Hunter among others.

The public hearings were held over Thursday and Friday with many disapproving the new visa regulations as it would affect their various industries negatively resulting in job losses.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, failed to arrive for the final round of public hearings on Friday, nevertheless the examining of the impact of the new immigration regulations continued. 

Many participated and spoke out against the new immigration regulations imposed by the Department of Home Affairs.

The standing committee aims to determine if there was enough consultation with stakeholders before the implementation of the regulations.

Industries that will be impacted include airlines, call centres, conferencing, cruise ship operators, educational institutions, events managers, film makers, hospitality, immigration and visa services, sports, and tourism.

Earlier this year international consultant firm, Grant Thornton, reported that the requirement of children under the age of 18 must travel with an unabridged birth certificate was expected to cost South Africa 21 000 jobs a year. The firm also estimates that the requirement will result in a decrease of at least 270 000 international tourists a year, which in turn will cost South Africa approximately R9 billion.

Despite these concerns raised, the Department of Home Affairs is yet to address the impact of the new immigration rules which came into effect in May.

These new regulations could be devastating to South Africa’s tourism sector.