Julia Willand responds to an interview request from the Sunday Times regarding the new travel rules and related matters.
I have checked with my teams both in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and we do not really have clients who are severely affected by the new travel rules. This will have to do with the fact that our clients are mainly foreigners who have already had to get very organized with their personal documents and usually have the relevant birth certificates available. We do get many enquiries (a lot from schools with international learners) around the documentation that is needed for traveling, as the information received from Home Affairs is extremely confusing and changes all the time. It is clear that the matter has not been dealt with well on the part of Home Affairs at all, and one wonders when they will admit to the fact that these new rules are not an appropriate tool to combat child trafficking, but on the other hand significantly inconvenience bona fide travelers and therefore damage our tourism industry and economy on the whole.
I did hear from a friend about her frustration about having to get consent letters from her husband in order to follow him to Namibia with their child. She said they are no longer able to travel spontaneously or react flexibly to work and family needs. If this is interesting enough a story for you, I am happy to ask her if I can give you her details.
There are, of course, issues with the new Regulations which are, from our perspective, much graver and more problematic than the travel rules, but they get less attention because a much smaller group of people are affected. We often wish we could get the same public and media attention outrage for and in respect of those… But then again, whether the pressure will make Home Affairs and the Minister change tack remains to be seen. Please do keep reporting about this, it helps our cause, too.
Director / assessor iuris / Immigration Practitioner
In response to Shanaaz Eggington, Senior Reporter, Sunday Times
IMCOSA - Immigration Consultants South Africa - Visa Services, Immigration Agents