Alderman James Vos urges Home Ministry to speed up Visa work completion

Cape Town:  A statement by the Alderman James Vos, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Growth has raged the people of the mother city, as he asked, “Remote Work Visa: Why can’t Home Affairs get this right?”

Reportedly, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has urgently cleared that for tourism industry businesses and hopeful travellers on the status quo of the long-awaited remote work visa.

According to one report of an incentive programme in Oklahoma, US, the digital nomads have generated nearly $20 million in additional local gross domestic product.

Research conducted by self has shown that these working tourists has spent up to, R50,000 during their time in Cape Town.

Furthermore, the visa should have been implemented long ago but it looked as if it was finally out of the gate, the department scored a series of own goals of comedic yet infuriating proportions.

Earlier, on March 28, 2024, the DHA published the amended immigration regulations. However, it was a day before the closing date of the public comment period. The media reported further that the Home Affairs Minister – Aaron Motsoaledi said that the amendments were made in consultation with the Immigration Advisory Board, that reportedly does not exist yet.

Then, on April 12, the minister issued a notice of withdrawing the amendments of March 28.

Considerably, South Africa’s visa system is already infamously a mess and latently it has bungled and only serves as a reminder of the murk.

The hundreds and thousands of employees are working in the tourism industry, not to mention those in need of jobs and can ill afford more chaos that are caused by the department.

Businesses in the countless industries are equally frustrated as the skilled staff that they need and are unable to get into the country due to unprocessed visas.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Growth – Alderman James Vos said, “I have held ongoing engagements with the industry bodies to better comprehend the economic impact of the visa backlogs.”

“I am committed to take a stand by advocating for change. This is an endeavour that aims to address the constraints faced by the companies,” said James Vos.

He further stated that in the interim, the department must provide a detailed plan to address the crisis of the visa system and importantly, adhere to that plan.

Moreover, the city is making sure that the Cape Town is as ready as possible to welcome greater numbers of digital nomads who will take advantage of the new visa.

Notably, the official Destination Marketing Organisation of Cape Town Tourism has partnered with homestay platform, Airbnb to highlight the Mother City’s destination value for international remote workers.

The partnership agreement includes a dedicated custom-built Airbnb hub for Cape Town that showcases top local long-term listings, attractions and experiences and information related to entry requirements and visa policies.

A visa system functioning completely would be a boon to the country’s economy, driving the investments and jobs for millions of desperate South Africans.

Alderman Vos further urged the President Cyril Ramaphosa to exert pressure on the department to get this done.