South Africa is beginning to reverse a number of controversial and unpopular visa regulations introduced earlier this year after pressure from its own tourism industry.
The rules brought into effect in June meant anyone arriving in the country in the company of a child had to prove parenthood or guardianship – by way of an “unabridged” birth certificate – while lone adults flying in with their offspring had to show they had the consent of their non-travelling partner.
Designed to tackle child trafficking, the rules came under heavy criticism from tourism groups within and outside of South Africa. Reports this year from the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) showed that confidence in the travel industry was at its lowest since 2010, and that the number of overseas visitors had already started to fall. It expected the country to lose 100,000 visitors over 2015 at a cost of 1,4billion rand (£66million).
In response, the department of tourism has announced a number of concessions to the regulations.
Travellers with children will now have details printed in their youngsters’ passports so parents will not be required to carry birth certificates. The carrying of parental consent from a non-travelling partner is now no longer mandatory but instead “strongly advised”.
The government is also reconsidering rules introduced in 2014 that meant all visa applications must be made in person at a South African mission, making it particularly difficult for tourists in the likes of Russia, India and China to apply for entry. South Africa is now accepting applications via post from countries where no missions exist, and is looking to allow travel companies in certain countries to process visa applications.
CEO of TBCSA Mmatšatši Ramawela welcomed the changes, which will be made over the next year, and said they are “a step in the right direction”.
“Our priority is to address the uncertainty that is currently in the market around the travel requirements for destination South Africa – whether one is travelling for leisure or business – and to restore tourist confidence in our destination,” she said. “Thus, we wish to take time to study the finer details of the Cabinet approved recommendations before we make further pronouncements on this matter.”
Tlali Tlali, a spokesperson for national carrier South African Airways, said the airline welcomes the changes “with a great sense of relief and excitement”, adding: “South African Airways ( SAA ) welcomes this development as this will enable those travellers who were discouraged by what appeared to be onerous immigration requirements to now reconsider travelling to South Africa again.
“We trust that the changes effected will strike a necessary, yet delicate balance between the safety and security concerns on the one hand and tourism interest on the other.”
Though much of the impact on the nation’s tourism has come from the effects of visa regulations in the likes of Russia and China, concerns were expressed in June that the laws relating to travelling with children would put British families off travelling to South Africa, despite British passport holders not requiring a visa to visit the country.
A poll by Telegraph Travel at the time of more than 700 readers found that two thirds might be put off South Africa for a family holiday.
Jennifer Chilcott, South Africa specialist at Imagine Travel, said the concessions will help, if only to save UK travellers hassle.
“I don’t think it has really affected our business in terms of families travelling with kids. If they want to go, they’ll make a plan and stick to it,” she said.
“However, there have still been some issues of people getting to the airport and not having quite the right documents they needed.
“The bigger impact for South Africa is countries that need a visa to go there and have trouble acquiring them, whereas the birth certificate was an inconvenience but it’s not really putting people off travelling – unless the people are now not enquiring at all.”
South African Airways Technical Apprenticeship
To operate a fully functional maintenance division requires highly skilled technicians. South African Airways apprenticeship Technical Training has recognised this need, and in order to meet the high and exacting standards, has established Apprentice training programmes for eleven trade disciplines. Qualified Senior Instructors, each a specialist in his/her field, facilitate and coach apprentices to ensure total mastery of skills.
Apprentices are trained at South African Airways Technical which is located at OR Tambo International Airport. This accredited training facility is one of the most respected in Africa.
South African Airways Technical Apprenticeship Training programmes are based on the Competency Based Modular Training (CBMT) philosophy .The Apprentice Training Department is the leading developer for this training. CBMT is an individualised, structured learning process, which is self-paced but time managed. A course map indicating the objective and the number of modules is arranged in a logical sequential order. Each module covers a specific area of the course/s and deals adequately with the skill/s. Each module is concluded by successfully completing a criterion test.
Although each respective course is not time bound, but performance bound, the time taken to successfully master the required modules depends largely on an individual’s own initiative and motivation: nevertheless on average an apprentice should complete a full course in 2-3 years. If required, apprentices are expected to attend and pass one Technical College block course, thereafter college studies are optional. Each trade has specific tasks/responsibilities to ensure airworthiness and safety of aircraft. It is expected from each applicant to choose, in order of preference from the list of trades and according to their interests, capabilities and potential, the trade that interests him/her the most.
Aircraft Spray Painter
Aircraft Composite Structures
Aircraft Instrument Technician
Aircraft Structures Workers
Aircraft Turner Machinist
Aircraft Electro Plater
How to Apply:
Potential applicants must complete an application form, pass an Aptitude and if shortlisted applicants
will be invited for an interview.
At least 16 years of age
Passed Grade 12 with:
o Physical Science
o All subjects compulsory with at least E Symbol on Higher Grade or D Symbol on Standard Grade or
o a minimum of Achievement level 4 or equivalent) or
o minimum N3 certificate with Mathematics and Engineering Science D Symbol
Able to communicate in English Prepared to undergo a training course (company sponsored)
Prepared to sign a learner ship contract.
Enquiries and applications can be addressed to:
Recruitment and Selection
South African Airways Technical
Private Bag X12,
OR Tambo International Airport, 1627
Tel: (011) 978 3912 and 978 3935.
Nelly Kewana/ Livhuwani Nekhumbe
Fax: 011 978 1108 or 086 726 1631
South African Airways Maintenance and Regulatory Training
Aircraft Maintenance and Regulatory Training
The function of the SAA Technical Maintenance Training department is to ensure that all training on aircraft, engines, systems and components will be accomplished in accordance with current applicable aviation regulations and Technical standards and in line with the curriculums approved by the SA: CAA.
Qualified Senior Instructors, each a specialist in his/her field, conduct theory and practical training to ensure mastery of aircraft systems.
The training centre is located at O R Tambo International Airport, South African Airways Technical. This approved training facility is one of the most respected in South Africa.
Scope of Training
South African Airways Maintenance and Regulatory training is approved by the SA: CAA to conduct Tuition and Examination on the following aircraft types; category A, C, and W.
Boeing 747 – Classic and 400 Series.
Boeing 737 – 200.
Boeing 737 – 3/4/500 series.
Boeing 737 NG – 6/7/8/900 Series.
Boeing 767 Series.
Boeing 777-200/300 series.
Airbus A340 Series.
Airbus A319, A320 and A321 Series.
Harvard T6 Series.
Airbus A330 Differences.
P&W JT8D Series.
P&W JT9D Series.
P&W 4000 Series.
P&W 1340 Series.
GE CF6 Series.
GE CFM56 Series.
IAE V2500 Series.
RR RB211 Series.
GE 90 Series.
The facility also has the capability of presenting the following Regulatory training;
3.Civil Aviation Regulations
6.Radio and Radar General
7.Gas Turbine General
For more details on Maintenance and Regulatory Training, contact:
Manager Maintenance Training
Boeing and SAA, along with partners SkyNRG and Sunchem SA, also officially launched Project Solaris, their collaborative effort to develop an aviation biofuel supply chain with a nicotine-free tobacco plant called Solaris. In Limpopo province, company representatives and industry stakeholders visited commercial and community farms where 123 acres (50 hectares) of Solaris have been planted.
Oil from the plant’s seeds may be converted into bio-jet fuel as early as next year, with a test flight by SAA as soon as practicable.
“SAA continues to work towards becoming the most environmentally sustainable airline in the world and is committed to a better way of conducting business,” said Ian Cruickshank, Environmental Affairs Specialist, SAA Group. “The impact that the biofuel program will have on South Africans is astounding: thousands of jobs mostly in rural areas, new skills and technology, energy security and stability and macro-economic benefits to South Africa, and of course, a massive reduction in the amount of CO2 that is emitted into our atmosphere.”
“It is very exciting to see early progress in South Africa towards developing sustainable aviation biofuel from energy-producing tobacco plants,” said J. Miguel Santos, managing director for Africa, Boeing International. “Boeing strongly believes that our aviation biofuel collaboration with South African Airways will benefit the environment and public health while providing new economic opportunities for South Africa’s small farmers. This project also positions our valued airline customer to gain a long-term, viable domestic fuel supply and improve South Africa’s national balance of payments.”
The farm visits followed the announcement in August that Boeing, SAA and SkyNRG were collaborating to make aviation biofuel from the Solaris plant, which was developed and patented by Sunchem Holding. If the test farming in Limpopo is successful, the project will be expanded in South Africa and potentially to other countries. In coming years, emerging technologies are expected to increase aviation biofuel production from the plant’s leaves and stems.
Sustainable aviation biofuel made from Solaris plants can reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by 50 to 75 percent, ensuring it meets the sustainability threshold set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB). Airlines have conducted more than 1,600 passenger flights using aviation biofuel since the fuel was approved for commercial use in 2011.
Boeing is the industry leader in global efforts to develop and commercialize sustainable aviation biofuel. In addition to its collaboration in Southern Africa, Boeing has active biofuel development projects in the United States, Middle East, Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Brazil and Australia.