Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier claims that they have received complaints from business executives and immigration attorneys claiming that their emails to the Department of Home Affairs requesting permission to travel for business from high-risk countries to South Africa have not been answered.
Maynier revealed that he wrote to the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi to request his urgent intervention.
In his letter, he states: “I would urge you to intervene in this matter was extreme urgency to ensure that the backlog of requests sent to the ‘[email protected]’ email address is processed as a matter of urgency and that there are sufficient capacity answers to all new applications made within 24 hours of receipt.”
Maynier also wrote to Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma last week asking her to “simply scrap the risk-based approach to international travel and the ‘red-list’ of countries not permitted to travel to South Africa.”
He suggested that all travellers should be required to produce proof of a negative Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours from the time of departure, supplemented by vigorous screening on arrival and antigen testing at the airport should they fail to pass screening protocols.
Maynier added that economic recovery is critical.
“When there is clearly a high demand for business travellers to visit South Africa and stimulate the economy, it is unacceptable that we are putting measures in place that do not work and unnecessarily block investment.
“Our proposed alternative to the risk-based approach for international travel would remove the unfair and unnecessary red tape currently in place to prevent business travellers from visiting South Africa, while also allowing leisure tourists to return unimpeded, bringing the investment we need to rebuild our economy following the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa,” he said
IOL Travel has reached out to The Department of Home Affairs with the allegations. We are awaiting their response.