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Great news : South Africa ropen its borders from 1 Oct ! Welcome back

24/09/2020

South Africa will open its borders for international flights on October 1, announced President Cyril Ramaphosa in his latest address to the nation earlier this evening, Wednesday, September 16.
This comes as the country moves to national lockdown alert level 1 at midnight on Sunday, September 20, on the back of the daily rate of infections continuing to slow down to fewer than 2 000 per day. At peak, the number of infections was up to 10 000 to 15 000 per day. The recovery rate is currently at 89%.
The opening of borders will be based on certain restrictions and those countries with high infection rates may be prevented from entering South Africa. Ramaphosa said a list of the countries that fell into the high-risk category would be published over the next few days.

International travellers will also be required to present a COVID-19-free certificate that is dated no later than 72 hours within their date of arrival.
Those who do not have a certificate will face a mandatory quarantine period at their own cost.

In reaction to the news, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa – who has been lobbying for borders to open to enable the survival of a sector on its knees – said in a Facebook post: “Let’s go to work and welcome our international guests. The fight has been long and it’s not close to be finished. Aluta continua.”
He added that tourism could be South Africa’s economic lifeline. “Every day we have been closed to international travel we have lost R336m (¤17.4m) of spend and the government has lost vital tax revenue. Opening up our tourism sector will have a direct and immediately positive impact on Government’s coffers at a time when it most needs it.”
Enabling environment for tourism
Government’s decision to reopen to international travel and tourism gave the industry an opportunity to get back on its feet, said David Frost, CEO of SATSA, the voice of inbound international tourism.
According to him, the sector cannot grow to its full potential and contribute more meaningfully to South Africa’s economy unless several interventions are introduced swiftly to improve the competitiveness of the country as a tourism destination and drive demand.
Some of those interventions include the removal of quarantine requirements for visitors and improved visa access.
“Now more than ever comes the opportunity for the public and private sector to collaborate in word and deed and to leverage South Africa’s competitive advantage as a global tourism player. This is the industry that has been earmarked as a catalyst for inclusive economic growth. As such, tourism should be prioritised if it is going to make the contribution it has the potential to make to pull the South African economy out of these stormy waters,” said Frost.
Reopening safely
Under the TBCSA, the entire value chain of tourism has devised and rolled out stringent health and hygiene safety programmes and protocols under the banner, Travel Safe – Eat Safe, said Lee Zama, CEO of Fedhasa, the national trade association for the hospitality industry, which includes the accommodation and catering sectors.
“These protocols have been based on international best practice and endorsed by the World Travel and Tourism Council. Our industry is ready to receive guests. We have protocols in place to mitigate any risk associated with COVID-19 and have developed a Travel Safe-Eat Safe mobile app to ensure that the information of guests and participating establishments are logged electronically. South Africa is Travel Ready,” she said,
Details on the new regulations around level 1 will be published shortly.

Namibia reopens its borders on September 1 - Flights resume from Europe

08/09/2020

With Namibian borders opening on September 1, the Lufthansa Group has announced that – subject to all necessary government approvals being granted – Eurowings will once again serve Windhoek with three weekly flights from Frankfurt.

“These plans form part of reviving the local tourism and commercial sector in Namibia,” said Dr André Schulz, GM: Southern Africa & East Africa for the Lufthansa Group, which operates the low-cost carrier, Eurowings.

On September 19, the first Eurowings flight will depart Frankfurt at 20h00 and arrive in Windhoek at 06h20 the next day. Thereafter, flights will depart Frankfurt for Windhoek at 20h00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The return flight will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, departing Windhoek at 08h20 and arriving in Frankfurt at 18h50.

Schulz said Namibia remained an important part of the Lufthansa Group’s Africa network. “Even throughout this unprecedented crisis, we were able to successfully operate several repatriation flights to and from Windhoek. Our commitment remains to offer regular commercial services that link Namibians to Germany, Europe and the rest of the world.”

Coronavirus : no risk in South africa

02/03/2020

GOOD NEWS FOR TRAVELLERS : To date, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in South Africa
As of 21 February 2020, there are no reported or suspected cases of Coronavirus in South Africa, the NICD has confirmed.
Egypt announced its first Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) case on 14 February, making it Africa’s first documented infection.
According to the NICD this is not unexpected, and South Africa remains vigilant for cases of COVID-19. As of 15 February, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) has tested 82 individuals for COVID-19. Results are all negative.
There is no impact on visitors to South Africa and no travel or trade advisories or restrictions have been put in place for travelling to South Africa, except those imposed on Chinese citizens by the Chinese government.

Airports and airlines
South African health authorities and hospitals are on high alert and temperature screening remains in place at most international airports in South Africa. This is a routine precaution that was instituted at airports in 2010.
Any passenger found to be ill or exhibiting fever symptoms on arrival will be reviewed at airport clinics. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirms that South African hospitals are prepared to deal with any Corona-related problems and laboratories have facilities in place to test for the respiratory disease.
On 6 February, OR Tambo Port Health Services has implemented additional screening measures.
As part of the additional screening measures, Port Health officials will conduct thermal screening onboard the flights. Passengers will be asked to remain seated until they are advised by Port Health officials that they can disembark.
Based on the information available, additional screening measures will be concentrated on the following flights:
* Cathay Pacific
* Singapore Airlines
* Hong Kong
* Emirates
* Etihad
* Qatar
For all other international flights, Port Health officials will liaise with cabin crew to ascertain whether there are health risks onboard.

Entry of minors in South Africa - Good News

28/02/2020

Following a change in South African regulations in November 2019, accompanied foreign minors can travel to South Africa with their valid passport only. The passport must be valid for more than four months from the date of travel and have at least two blank pages.

Foreign minors travelling unaccompanied must present the following documents:
copy of birth certificate;
letters of parental consent;
copy of passport(s)/identity document(s) of parents/legal guardian(s) ;
contact details of parents/legal guardian(s);
letter from the person who is to receive the child in South Africa, indicating his/her address and contact details in South Africa where the child will reside;
copy of the valid identity document/passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in South Africa.

The Most Beautiful Country In The World

22/08/2015

According to a recent report on www.buzzfeed.com/travelguru/ - South Africa was listed as No 1 among the 20 most beautiful countries in the world.

This country sweeps international travel prizes and has travellers raving about its beauty so much that it has the highest repeat tourism of any long haul destination in the world! Considering how crazy people are about the place, it’s not surprising that South Africa takes the top spot in the beauty stakes.

Not only does the country have stupendous natural beauty, but it’s urban-amazing too. The town of Franschhoek has been named amongst the five loveliest in the world, and the metropolis of Cape Town is more often than not picked as the most beautiful city on earth by travel lists and tourists alike, because of both its unparalleled natural setting and gorgeous architecture.

This setting is on a coastline hailed as the most beautiful on earth. In fact the country has three of the world’s ten most beautiful coastal drives including Clarens Drive and Chapman’s Peak. These were number one and number two most beautiful coastal drives respectively.

South Africa also has an astonishing variety of marine life, with almost twice the number of marine species as the whole Mediterranean in a coastline only 2000 miles long. It’s the best place in the world to view whales from shore, and to swim with great white sharks. The world’s largest migration of Ocean life occurs here, and is one of the two largest migrations of any kind on earth.

With some of the finest national parks in the world, including the Kgalagadi, Isimangaliso, Hluhlue Imfolozi and Tsitsikamma, South Africa has been rated the finest wildlife destination on earth and is Africa’s most bio diverse. That’s much of where it leaps ahead of other countries in terms of beauty.

What’s better than a great sunset? A great sunset with giraffes or elephants in front! The Greater Kruger National Park and Limpopo Transfrontier Park has more species of large mammal than anywhere else in the world. Surrounding Cape Town is the world’s densest plant kingdom by species count. The King Protea flower is a gorgeous bloom the size of a dinner plate!

Surrounded by Cape Town is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, Table Mountain. When viewed from across Table Bay this world wonder provides one of the greatest views on Earth, and has been named one of the world’s greatest mountains.

Incredibly, two of the eleven mountains chosen for this honour are located entirely within South Africa, more than is claimed by any other country. The other is the Amphitheatre, a gigantic cliff regarded as one of the most impressive in the world. Its cliff face is around ten times the size of the main South Western face of Yosemite’s El Capitan and six times the size of the North Face of Switzerland’s Matterhorn!

The Amphitheatre is found in the Drakensberg, one of the world’s most beautiful and utterly distinctive mountain ranges. It has been named the third in the list of must see mountain ranges you’ve probably never heard of. Falling off its face is possibly the tallest waterfall on earth, though officially the second tallest, which is about twenty times the height of Niagara! ‘The Tugela Falls’ plunge over 3000 feet in 5 abrupt steps! This, together with the Augrabies falls, is one of two South African falls named in the Top 10 waterfalls in the world. In the North of the Drakensberg is one of the greatest and most beautiful canyons in the world, the subtropical Blyde River.

Other mountain ranges in the country include the best-exposed fold mountains in the world, The Swartberg or ‘Black Mountains’. Unlike their name suggests, these mountains display astonishing Technicolor sandstone cliffs folded in all directions through what geologists call anticlines and synclines. They house one of the most beautiful cave systems in the world, the Kango. Four of the ten oldest mountain ranges in the world are found in South Africa, including the breathtaking Waterberg and the stunning Makhonjwa range, the oldest in the world

This is a country of astounding age, and is the place where both the oldest fossils and the oldest gold have been found. Even the deserts in this country are astonishingly beautiful, from the powdered red sands of the Kalahari to the Karoo and Namaqualand. The latter is an incredible arid area larger than California that turns into the world’s largest garden each spring in a floral display unrivalled anywhere on earth. Thousands of species of flowers bloom and transform the landscape unimaginably. It, together with Technicolor city suburbs like the Bokaap, is part of why the country has been called the worlds most colourful.

Unsurpassed wildlife and mountains, whales and waterfalls, architecture and antiquity, the world’s most beautiful city, and the world’s most stunning Spring, plus a host of natural treasures make South Africa “The Most Beautiful Country In The World”, and a must-see traveller’s dream.

1 June 2015 - New immigration law for children under 18

05/04/2018

As of 1 June 2015 children travelling into, through and out of SA are required to produce an unabridged birth certificate.

This notification from Home Affairs
http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/civic-services/traveling-with-children

The new requirements for children travelling to or from the Republic of South Africa take effect on 1 June 2015. The requirements are aimed at establishing the principle that all minors require the consent of their parents when traveling into or out of the Republic.


1. APPLICATION OF THE NEW REQUIREMENTS

1.1. The documents listed under paragraph 4 shall upon request be produced at a port of entry by:

South African minors upon leaving the Republic, and Minors who are foreign nationals and who are visa exempt when travelling through a port of entry of the Republic.
1.2. Minors who apply for a South African visa at any mission or VFS service-point shall be required to submit as part of the application, documents listed hereunder at paragraph 4, prior to such visa being issued.

1.3. Where a minor applies for a visa inside South Africa or at a South African embassy abroad it shall be standard practice for all supporting documents to be submitted prior to the visa being issued. Sworn translations of the documents should be submitted with the visa application as stipulated in Regulation 9(4) of the Immigration Regulations, 2014. However, persons who are visa exempt need not submit any translations when reporting to an Immigration Officer at a port of entry. Supporting documents should either be the originals or certified copies of the originals.


2. EXEMPTIONS

Minors who began their journey prior to 1 June 2015 shall not be required to produce the documents listed in paragraph 4 should the return leg of the journey occur after 1 June 2015.
No supporting documents will be required in the case of minors in direct transit at an International Airport.
Minors in possession of valid South African visas shall not be required to produce the documents listed in paragraph 4 when travelling through a port of entry of the Republic.
In the case of countries that endorse the particulars of parents in children’s passports, or other official identification documents, these documents shall be acceptable for the purpose of establishing the identity of parents of the travelling minor. Example: Indian passports record the parents’ names on the passport. In this instance, the requirement of an Unabridged Birth Certificate as stated in paragraph 4 may be dispensed with.

3. DEFINITIONS

3.1. Alternative Care

Section 167 of the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005), states that a child is in Alternative Care if the child has been placed in:
foster care; the care of a child and youth care centre following an order of a court in terms of that Act or the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No. 51 of 1977); or
temporary safe care.

3.2. Child/Minor

South African law regards any person younger than 18 years as a child or minor.


3.3. Equivalent Document

Any official document (Example: identity document or passport issued by the relevant authority of any country) or letter issued by a foreign government (including a foreign embassy) or a letter issued by the Director-General of Home Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, recording the identity of the parents of a child shall be accepted in lieu of an Unabridged Birth Certificate. These instruments shall serve to identify the parents of the child intending to travel through a port of entry of the Republic.

3.4. Parent

Unless the context indicates otherwise, the word “parent” includes adoptive parents and legal guardians.

3.5. Parental Consent Affidavit

Parental Consent Affidavit is an affidavit which must accompany an Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document when any parent is not travelling with his or her child.
A South African Embassy in the traveller’s country of residence may be approached to commission the oath or solemn declaration required in the Affidavit free of charge.
The Affidavit must not be older than 4 months when presented. The same affidavit will still be valid for the departure or return in relation to the same journey regardless of the period of the journey.
A suggested format of the Parental Consent Affidavit is here: ParentalConsentAffidavit

3.6. Unabridged Birth Certificate

In South Africa, an Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC) is an extract from the Birth Register containing the particulars of a minor and those of his or her parent or parents. UBCs are official documents issued by the Department of Home Affairs in terms of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992 (Act No. 51 of 1992). All birth certificates containing the details of a child as well as the parents of the child shall be accepted for the purposes of these Requirements as UBCs , regardless of the country of issue.
In the case of countries that do not issue UBCs, an ‘Equivalent Document’ containing the particulars of the child and his or her parent or parents, issued by the competent authority of that country, or an embassy of that country may be used instead of an UBC. A suggested format for such an Equivalent Document is available at: http://www.dha.gov.za/files/EquivalentDocumentForeignGov.pdf


4. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR TRAVEL THROUGH A PORT OF ENTRY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

4.1 Where both parents are travelling accompanied by one or more of their children, such children have to produce:

Valid passports and an UBC or Equivalent Document for each child travelling.


4.2. Where only one parent is travelling with a child, (or children), each child has to produce:

A valid passport, an UBC or Equivalent Document for each travelling child and the Parental Consent Affidavit from the non-travelling parent whose details are recorded on the UBC or Equivalent Document.


4.3. An unaccompanied minor has to produce:

A valid passport; an UBC or Equivalent Document; Parental Consent Affidavit; letter from the person who is to receive the minor in the Republic containing such person’s residential and work address and full contact details in the Republic, a copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the minor in the Republic.

4.4. A person who is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, such child must produce:

A valid passport, an UBC or Equivalent Document and Parental Consent Affidavit.
These requirements apply also to children travelling with school groups.

4.5. A child in alternative care shall produce:

A valid passport and a letter from the Provincial Head of the Department of Social Development where the child resides authorising his or her departure from the Republic as contemplated in section 169 of the Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005).

4.6. Explanatory Notes:

One of the following documents may be presented in the absence of a Parental Consent Affidavit referred to above:
A court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or full legal guardianship of the child exclusively to the travelling parent ;
A court order granted in terms of section 18(5) of the Children’s Act, 2015, (Act No. 38 of 2005) which is a court order granting permission for the child to travel in the event that there is a dispute or no consent forthcoming from the parent/s of a child; or
a death certificate of the deceased parent.
Where only one parent’s particulars appear on the UBC or equivalent document, no parental consent affidavit is required when that parent travels with the child.
In the case of divorce, where custody of a child/children is shared, parental consent by both parents is required.
Where a Parental Consent Affidavit is presented, also required are full contact details and copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child.
The consent of parents recorded as such on the Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document shall be required regardless of the marital status of the parents of the child.

5. INABILITY TO CONSENT DUE TO RECENT DEATH OR MENTAL OR PHYSICAL DISABILITY:

5.1. Where any parent/s recorded in an UBC, or equivalent document, are unable to consent to the travel by a child due to recent death, or mental or physical disability, persons acting on behalf of the child/children may apply for a special dispensation in lieu of the parental consent affidavit by directing a request and full motivation, together with all supporting documents (example, treating medical practitioners certificate), to the Office of the Director-General of Home Affairs, at the following e-mail address: [email protected]

5.2. Explanatory Note:

This dispensation only applies to incapacity, and does not apply where a parent is either unwilling to consent or unable to be located due to separation or divorce.
Where a parent refuses to give consent, a court order in terms of section 18(5) of the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005), may be presented in lieu of such parental consent.

See pdf document here