The Zuma-appointed Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) reviewed the "unintended consequences" of the immigration rules regarding traveling, and these are the largely disappointing changes that were made.
Within the next three months
- The parental consent for a child traveling without any of his or her parents is now valid for 6 instead of 4 months.
- The parental consent affidavits for children traveling as part of a school group can be replaced by a declaration from the school principal.
From end of January
- Biometric capturing (fingerprints/digital photo) will be introduced at South Africa’s primary international airports. As a result, it may in future no longer be necessary for some or all travelers to have a Transit Visa. Hopefully, this will make the personal presentation at missions unnecessary for all visa applications.
No timeline given
- South African children’s passports will show the parents' details so that the unabridged birth certificate will no longer be necessary when traveling.
- A long-term multiple-entry visitor’s visa for up to three years for trusted travelers such as business people, academics and tourists.
- A 10-year visa waiver (or rather long-term, multiple-entry visa?) for BRICs countries has been introduced, but details remain blurry.
In summary, a case of trying to appease an irate travel industry with nice-sounding, but hollow or delayed actions.