Min. Motsoaledi must urgently intervene to lift the handbrake on business travel
We have received complaints from business executives and immigration attorneys informing us 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 since the reopening of international travel on the 01 October 2020.
And so, today I have written to the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, to request his urgent intervention to ensure that the appropriate resource is allocated so that business travellers from high-risk countries who apply for permission to travel to South Africa at the ‘Covid19BusinessTravel@dha.gov.za’ email address receive a response within at least 24 hours.
An easier fix, as per my recent submission to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma, would be to simply scrap the risk-based approach to international travel and the ‘red-list’ of countries not permitted to travel to South Africa.
Instead, to ensure safe international travel that supports economic recovery, 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.
At a time when economic recovery is critical and 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.
Listen to soundbyte from Minister David Maynier
Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Tel: 021 483 4327
Cell: 071 087 5150