Govt clamps down on 'exotic businesses'

Johannesburg - Foreign businesspeople trying to start strip clubs, import used cars or set up a security company will from now on be denied business visas.

City Press reported that businesses in South Africa will also be barred from importing foreign strippers, hotel workers, restaurant staff, hairdressers and beauticians using corporate visas, according to a notice in the government gazette today.

The department of home affairs released its lists of “undesirable business undertakings”, a new concept introduced by this year’s controversial new immigration regulations.

The designation “undesirable business” means foreigners cannot get business or corporate visas for such businesses.

Business visas are for investors setting up businesses while corporate visas are for companies that intend to hire a number of foreign workers.

The list of undesirable businesses for which corporate visas will be denied has four entries.

They are “exotic entertainment”, the hospitality industry, fast-food outlets and franchises, as well as the cosmetic and beauty industries.

The list of undesirable businesses that business visas will be issued for has three entries.

They are the “import of second-hand motor vehicles… for the purpose of exporting to other markets”, exotic entertainment and the security industry.

The last point dovetails with the controversial private security industry regulation amendment bill, which seeks to ban foreigners from owning majority stakes in private security companies.

There is still one outstanding piece of regulation around business visas to come.

The department of trade and industry, which compiled the lists released today, must still reset the “minimum level of investable resources” that a foreigner has to prove in order to qualify for a business visa.

It used to be R2.5m.

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