Travelling with children South Africa: New rules challenged

The new travel regulations profoundly affect the travelling of parents with children.
The new travel regulations profoundly affect the travelling of parents with children.

We have written much in the last few weeks regarding the controversial new regulations concerning the new requirements for minor children (classified as under 18’s) travelling both in and out of South Africa.

There has been a number of challenges to the Department of Home Affairs that has included representation from airlines, the Department of Tourism and other stakeholders in the tourism industry. Some claim the new rules could cost the economy up to 10 billion rand per annum and others that the Department of Home Affairs is simply not yet ready to cope with the new practises

What can be said is the intention of the new rules stems from an honourable background – one of protecting children with regards to trafficking, what is not so sure is the timing off it and this is what is causing most debate.

There may be some movement

IOL reported today that the Department of Home Affairs is considering whether an appeal by international airlines’ for more time is valid before deciding whether to delay its enforcement of new immigration rules.

DHA spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete is quoted as saying “We are willing to listen to what they have to say, but first it needs to be established whether their concerns are valid. Servicing airlines has never been our main focus. We will not jeopardise the safety of people because of this”.

Mkuseli Apleni, Director General of Home Affairs, told MPs yesterday that the government did not want to harm the economy or the tourism sector.

Briefing the portfolio committee on home affairs, he said: “The intention is not to kill the economy or tourism. “We are not the only country to do this.”

Despite this possible sign of a delay we encourage people not to rely on this as the article does go on further to state “The Tourism Business Council of SA, which represents the Board of Airline Representatives of SA, said the department had not yet told it of a possible meeting.”