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WC Tourism Comeback after Visa Concessions

Categories: HEADLINES, Government
The DA in the Western Cape is pleased that the job-creating tourism sector has succeeded in fighting back against the onerous Visa Regulations. The newly released tourism numbers for the summer season indicates that nearly 15 000 more international visitors went through the Cape Town International airport, an increase of 4.5%.

This comes after the tourism industry having been under attack. In 2014 and 2015 the National Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba’s onerous Visa Regulations caused the numbers to drop.

It is especially encouraging that the number of visitors to Robben Island has increased by 24.7% from season. In my capacity as the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, I will invite representatives from the Coega Development Corporation to the Standing Committee to present their management and improvement plans. This following reports that that Robben Island, along with several other Western Cape tourist sites, has been handed over to Coega for maintenance and upgrades.

The Western Cape Provincial Parliament has continued to call for a scrapping of the onerous visa regulations, particularly the unabridged birth certificates. The National Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom has also taken a firm stance against the implementation of the unabridged certificates, which was reiterated in the latest edition of the Sunday Argus.

The Standing Committee on Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture tabled a report in 2014, which indicated that most child trafficking occurs inside the country and across land borders. Minster Hanekom has reported the same. This means that child trafficking cannot be curbed by visa regulations. The committee report was tabled after a series of public hearings. The report calls for the scrapping of the regulations until such time as a full Regulatory Impact Assessment of the legislation on the economy is completed. It stands to reason that if this had this been conducted prior to the regulations being promulgated, we would not have had such a negative impact on the tourism sector to begin with.

The DA welcomes the positive developments in the tourism sector, and will continue to do all we can in support of a growing economy that enables people to access jobs.

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