Visa system overhaul on the cards
The South African Government is to completely overhaul its visa system to support the tourism sector, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said during a post-Cabinet media briefing last week, according to BusinessLIVE. The Minister said the visa regimen, being addressed by an interministerial committee, had to be much clearer in order to be an enabler for investment while not compromising the security of the country and vulnerable groups. The Minister said a number of 'inhibiting factors' had been identified in the visa regimen, such as rules dealing with children, scarce skills and turnaround times. The overhaul of the visa system, finalisation of key mining legislation to support the mining sector, and stabilisation of state-owned enterprises were among the measures that had to be taken to address the slowdown in economic growth. SA has entered a recession with the economy contracting 0.7% in the second quarter after a revised 2.6% decline in the first quarter. 'The upcoming job and investment summits as well as the proposed government stimulus package will provide details on reforms needed to drive growth,' Mokonyane said. The stimulus package would be presented 'in a short period of time', the Minister said. The government was addressing the costing of the measures to be implemented. A revised fiscal framework will be presented by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in the October medium-term budget policy statement.