THE South African Government has relaxed travel requirements for children travelling through its borders by scrapping compulsory submission of affidavit forms which many found cumbersome.
South Africa’s Home Affairs Department announced the relaxation of travel requirement with effect from December 1.
The neighbouring country, in 2014, imposed stringent travelling requirements for children going in or out of South Africa.
Parents were supposed to sign several affidavit forms to prove that they consented to their children travelling.
The law is said to have affected tourists’ arrivals, impacting negatively on the economy resulting in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government reviewing it.
“The Department of Home Affairs is pleased to announce the relaxation of some international travel requirements for children going through South African ports of entry. The revised conditions are contained in the Government Gazette titled “Draft First Amendment of the Immigration Regulations, 2014 made under the Immigration Act,” reads the statement posted on the South African Department of Home Affairs website .
“From the beginning of December 2018, certain categories of child travellers will be exempt from presenting supporting documents at ports of entry. However, travellers are urged to carry these documents because they may be requested in certain instances.”
The Home Affairs Department said it was no longer mandatory for children coming from countries such as Zimbabwe to produce supporting affidavits.
“Travel requirements for children have been changed in ways which include the following; for travellers coming to South Africa, children who are foreign nationals from countries where visas are not required may be asked to produce supporting documents upon entry. Even though producing supporting documents is no longer compulsory, travellers are strongly advised to carry the supporting documents,” reads the Home Affairs statement.
It said the relaxation of the law was effected in anticipation of the festive season.
The department said immigration officers have been notified about the new changes that are in line with government’s thrust.
“These amendments reflect some of the Cabinet approved reforms to the visa regime and are in line with the economic recovery plan and stimulus announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in September 2018,” reads the statement.