App launched to ‘simplify’ SA child visa laws

Johannesburg - Controversial child visa laws have the South African travel industry in a spin but a local car rental agency wants to make life easier for travellers after launching a new web app.

In June, government kick-started new legislation that requires South Africans and foreign nationals travelling with children under the age of 18 to present unabridged birth certificates.

Stopping child trafficking is the aim of the legislation, but the new rules have the travel industry up in arms with experts crying foul over additional red tape.

Furthermore, as a result of the regulation, the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) has forecast that the number of tourist arrivals into South Africa could be down by as much as 28%.

However, Cape Town based independent car rental agency, Drive South Africa, has developed a child visa checklist web app that enables users to view a checklist of documents specific to their child-travel scenario in three steps.

“The only problem is, these regulations were launched with little consultation with the tourism industry, are rather confusing and might even make people think twice about travelling to South Africa,” said Andre Van Kets, co-founder and marketing director of Drive South Africa.

“This confusion, and the harm it might cause South African tourism, prompted the development of this simple to use web app, which cuts through the legal jargon and helps South Africans and non-South Africans alike know exactly what they need when travelling to and from the country with their children,” said Andre Van Kets, co-founder and marketing director of Drive South Africa.

Van Kets further said the web app has been built with the help of family law attorney Megan Harrington-Johnson from Johannesburg-based legal firm Schindlers Attorneys.

Drive South Africa also said the app has already had over 11 000 users from 123 countries since it launched.

Click here to tell us your views on this app: Do you think it makes a difference in light of South Africa’s controversial child visa laws?

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