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EUROMOVERS International

The independent voice of the global moving industry


South Africa’s anti-trafficking regulations causing headaches for global mobility

Oct 19, 2015
New regulations for parents and guardians taking children into South Africa are causing a headache not only for tourists but also for HR departments and those on business assignments, according to global mobility expert Crown World Mobility.

The controversial regulations, designed to combat child trafficking, require adults to produce a birth certificate for any children travelling with them – and possibly a letter of authority from any absent parents - before being allowed to enter the country.

The South African government has recently appointed a special committee to look in to the new Regulations, amid widespread criticism. However the issue of child trafficking is clearly hugely important and the Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom and Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba have openly disagreed over what the most appropriate solution should be.

Ben Sookia, EMEA Immigration Manager at Crown World Mobility said: “The regulations were brought in for laudable reasons but have proved a major headache for those on global mobility programmes as well as for tourists. They also cause delays at airports all over the world for people travelling to South Africa. We anticipate there is a possibility that the regulations will be amended in the coming months. But, until we obtain confirmation in writing from the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa, our advice is that all foreign nationals – and any person travelling to or from South Africa – should comply fully with the regulations.  It is important that the HR departments inform employees of the new regulations and make sure that any person travelling to South Africa with children obtains all the relevant documents before travelling.”

The Regulations could prove particularly complicated for families of assignees wishing to visit. If both parents are not travelling together then a letter of consent from the absent parent may be required. Single parents may need to bring a court order which confirms they are the legal guardian. Friends of the family bringing children to visit who are not their own face a long list of requirements – including an affidavit from the parents, copies of the parents’ passports, contact details of the parents and the child’s ‘unabridged’ birth certificate ,defined as one that contains the details of both the child’s parents, including their marital status and whether they are the biological parents

“For a lot of people this could prove very complicated,” said Ben Sookia. “So it is important HR departments make families aware of the details as early as possible if a visit is being planned.”

Photo:  New regulations are a headache for families with children relocating to South Africa.

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