High Commissioner addresses child travel rules
Publish date: 05 November 2018
Issue Number: 798
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
The British High Commissioner says SA's rigorous travelling with children paperwork requirements means he has to visit a police station at least six times a year. 'From a personal experience, it's off-putting,' says Nigel Casey, having just had to do so recently when his children went back home. Speaking at the British Airways launch event of the Durban Direct to London flight route, Casey said SA must sort out the confusion around the travelling with minors regulation. Typically, it takes two weeks to get hold of the long form birth certificate for Brits, notes Traveller24. There is also an affidavit requirement when both parents are not travelling with the children and this needs to be signed or witnessed by a police officer or lawyer. This all adds to the hassle and cost, says Casey, and 'basically takes SA out of the market for short notice, quick decision last minute travel'. As a result, UK citizens are opting to visit Thailand instead, simply because it's easier. 'I'm waiting eagerly to see what the details are when it is gazetted, I hope they'll be very clear because the worst outcome would be ambiguous new regulations saying, well you don't have to have these but we strongly advise you to have them.' Hamish Erskine, from Dube Trade Port, said an average 100 000 British-based travellers made their way to SA and travelled through Durban annually, with clarity on the regulation for minors, certainly able to boost these figures.