The IRR has warned that onerous new travel regulations (specifically the requirement that children travel with an unabridged birth certificate) to be enforced by the Department of Home Affairs within the next month will harm South Africa's tourism industry.
Speaking from a conference in Cape Town, the IRR's CEO Dr. Frans Cronjé warned that the new travel requirements could see international tourists choose other travel destinations over South Africa.
He explained that South Africa's primary and secondary industries (agriculture, mining, and manufacturing) were in long-term decline both in terms of their contributions to GDP and their ability to create jobs and that this had closed off work opportunities to less skilled people.
The tourism industry, however, had the potential to replace the jobs lost in those declining sectors. The danger therefore is that South African policy makers are closing off another avenue of employment to poor and unskilled people – especially in rural areas where tourists might have travelled to. This will be bad for the economy, bad for jobs, and bad for South Africa.
The IRR has suggested that the department delay the implementation of the birth certificate requirement and re-draft its travel policy.
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