28 August 2014
In a statement issued today the CEO of SACCI, Mr.Neren Rau, said:
An issue of grave concern that was discussed by the Board of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) were the new immigration regulations which would have a significant damaging impact on South African business. In considering the issue, members expressed concern that businesses ranging from SMEs to multinational corporations and residents would incur large administrative costs and lose valuable business opportunities due to the regulations. The regulations put significant pressure on business in an already sensitive economic environment.
The principal areas of concern include the following:
· In order to renew a visa, foreign nationals need to return to their country of origin as opposed to renewing it in South Africa. Several reports have been received of foreign investors that employ South Africans, who have been advised that their work permits will not be renewed upon expiry. This also impacts on the work of foreign aid agencies, as most programs are at risk since the advisors will not be able to continue their aid work.
· Tourists travelling with children under the age of 18 need to have an unabridged birth certificate in English in addition to a passport. This requirement is costly as it reportedly costs as much R1000 and could take more than 2 weeks to translate. This will have a significantly negative impact on visitor arrivals from emerging markets such as China and South America, which both represent high growth markets for domestic tourism. The regulation stands in direct contrast to South Africa’s efforts to establish itself as a premier tourism destination.
SACCI will engage with the Director General of the Department of Home Affairs as a matter of urgency in order to apprise him of the unintended consequences of the regulations. SACCI will also raise the issue as part of its broader policy discussion in a forthcoming bilateral engagement with the ANC leadership.
Neren Rau , CEO, 011 446 3800
Peggy Drodskie, COO, 011 446 3800
Pietman Roos, Senior Policy Consultant, 072 360 5575