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South African Government Does Away With Birth Certificate Visa Requirement for Tourists

Minors visiting South Africa have less paperwork to worry about since tourism minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, recently announced that unabridged birth certificates will no longer be an incoming visa requirement. This comes after up to 20 families travelling from London’s Heathrow Airport were reportedly turned away from proceeding to South African ports of entry due to not meeting the visa requirements, which also includes parental letters of consent for underage children.

The shift was also made in hopes of increasing the country’s tourism sector and, working towards fulfilling the goal of a 21 million tourist headcount by 2030. The new legislature comes right before the upcoming festive period, a prime time for international tourism, and should boost the South African economy as a whole through resultant trade from the influx.


The more lenient requirements have been extended to all ports of entry, including airports and harbours, demonstrating a drastic shift in postulation and procedure since the birth certificate requirement was introduced in 2015. Kubaye-Ngubane justifies the change by mentioning the previous concerns raised both by travellers and by locals in determining the visa requirements’ relation to a drop in tourism.


She went on to call the scrapping “an upside for industry and travellers alike,” and the motion has been approved by Minister Aaron Motsoaledi of Home Affairs. It’s sure that hope for the return of a busy tourist season in the summer months will be met with the same approval from both locals and those who will be flocking to our sunkissed shores and breathtaking sights this festive season.

It is important to note, children will still require a valid passport and a parental consent letter. You can download a copy of the official version here

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