While there had been some confusion at certain ports of entry around the waiving of required Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC) for minors entering South Africa as inbound travellers, this has now been addressed, according to the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.

Speaking to Tourism Update, she conceded that there had initially been some challenges in December and January but that the communications had filtered through and that she had not heard of any challenges since then.

“Everyone who needed to know about the waiver was informed. including airline associations and everyone at our ports of entry,” said Siya Qoza, spokesperson for Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa, said in an earlier statement to Tourism Update that the waiver would help South Africa to regain its competitive position as a sought-after tourism destination.

Over the period that the UBC was introduced, losses were felt as trade went to places that were easier to visit. “At the same time, local operating costs increased and margins compressed. As a result, jobs were lost, livelihoods negatively affected and revenues derived from taxes declined,” said Zweigenthal.