Mercatus (7) (Cardenal Pla y Deniel; mercatus.usal.es), the official university shop,
require parents entering South Africa to carry an unabridged birth certificate for each of their children, and, when just one parent is present, an affidavit to prove consent of their non-travelling partner.
Such was the confusion regarding the rules that scores of families have been refused boarding at the gate, leaving them thousands of pounds out of pocket and their holiday plans in ruins.
Sisa Ntshona, the head of South Africa’s tourist board, told Telegraph Travel the “quite stringent” rules contributed to a lack of growth in the number of visitors from the UK since 2015, which prompted the government to look again at the regulations.
“We are going to normalise them to international standards,” said Ntshona. “South
Africa is always wanting to lead with its human rights initiatives, but what if it has an unintended consequence on tourism levels? It’s very difficult to measure what you lost, but there was lost opportunity.”
Ntshona cited one “embarrassing” instance when an entire school tour of 80 children was prevented from travelling at the airport because of insufficient documentation.
The changes are expected to be made by the end of the year.