The South African government has again been accused of inflating child trafficking figures, to justify stricter visa regulations. The Democratic Alliance (DA) held a protest outside Home Affairs offices in Pretoria on Friday.
The party says tourism and jobs in the sector are bleeding due to the regulations The DA says it wants them scrapped, saying that they have led to a reduction in tourist numbers, which in turn is causing job losses in the industry.
The DA further wants government to do away with unabridged birth certificates and allow biometric data collection upon the arrival of tourists.
An Inter-Ministerial Committee is probing the issue.
Government has however once again defended the regulations, saying they are aimed at curbing child and human trafficking.
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) figures show a 7% drop in overseas arrivals in the first quarter of the year.
South African Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima says it’s difficult to concretely measure the effects of the new visa regulations on international tourism.
He says while they have no figures yet, they have picked up on negative effects.