South African Airways is Changing Certain African Flight Routes and Reissuing Tickets

The below is a media statement released by South African Airways.

South African Airways is further strengthening its presence in Ghana by increasing weekly frequencies from 9 to 10 flights between Johannesburg and Accra, and by launching a daily service between Accra and Washington DC, with effect from 5th September 2019.

South African Airways regrets the inconvenience that this strategic decision may have on our customers and would ensure that those customers that already hold tickets for the affected flights are re-accommodated.

Ticketed SAA customers travelling between Johannesburg and Washington D.C. via Dakar (Blaise Diagne International) will be re-routed through one of the following options:

  1. Passengers travelling between Johannesburg (JNB) and Dakar (DSS):
    From Johannesburg (JNB) to Abidjan (ABJ) on flight SA 056 and from Abidjan (ABJ) to Dakar (DSS), on either Air Côte d’Ivoire (HF), Kenya Airways (KQ) or RwandAir (WB)
    From Dakar (DSS) to Abidjan (ABJ), on either Air Côte d’Ivoire (HF), Kenya Airways (KQ) or RwandAir (WB) and connecting onto flight SA 057 from Abidjan (ABJ) to Johannesburg (JNB)
  2. Passengers travelling between Johannesburg (JNB) and Washington D.C (IAD) via Dakar (DSS), SAA will re-accommodate passengers onto the Johannesburg (JNB) – Accra (ACC) – Washington D.C. (IAD) route and vice versa.
  3. Passengers travelling between Washington D.C. (IAD) and Dakar (DSS), can be re-accommodated via Brussels (BRU) to Dakar (DSS) on Brussels Airlines (SN) and vice versa.
    SAA will rebook affected passengers holding tickets as mentioned in points 1, 2 and 3 and the following rebooking conditions will apply:
  • Change of cabin class will not be permitted
  • Change fees will be waivered
  • Tickets must be re-issued on or before 23 August 2019. The issuing agent may re-issue the ticket with the following endorsement: INVOL SKCHG due to SA 207/208 CXD/Date
  • In the event where passengers do not wish to travel as re-accommodated by SAA, passenger may request a full refund of the unused ticket, without penalty.

Customers are encouraged to contact your Travel Agent, any SAA Office or our Contact Centres for assistance with flight changes.

The South African (Johannesburg) assistance line is 0861 606 606, and the US assistance line (Fort Lauderdale) is 1 (800) 722 9675.

To read the full media statement, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Adrian Pingstone [1], [2].

We Will be Attending Worldwide ERC’s Global Workforce Symposium 2019 in Boston This October

Our Director, Rene Stegmann, will be representing Relocation Africa at Worldwide ERC’s Global Workforce Symposium 2019 in Boston this October.

Taking place at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA, October 16 – 18, the Symposium provides an opportunity for those in the mobility industry to come together to network, and share global perspectives.

The Symposium has over 1,800 registrants from over 50 countries, and has talks scheduled for all 3 days.

To select a time to meet with Rene at the event, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], Osman Rana [2].

South African Home Affairs Implements Visa Waivers for Top Tourist Countries

The Minister of Home Affairs Dr Aaron Motsoaledi is pleased to announce that nationals from four of the seven countries he granted visa-free status during his Budget Vote speech will be able to travel to South Africa without visas from today.

He said the Department would implement visa waivers for Ghana, Cuba and Principe and Sao Tome after negotiations with these countries have been concluded. The Department is scheduled to complete these negotiations by the end of August 2019 and the implementation will follow soon thereafter.
“As from today, 15 August 2019, travelers from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand will no longer require a visa to visit South Africa for holidays, conferencing and business meeting visits. We took this decision unilaterally but we are engaging these countries to see how they can relax entry requirements for our citizens. I am glad to say that Qatar has already waived visa requirements for South Africans and this will enable our people to attend Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 easier,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

The Department of Home Affairs is continuously reviewing its operations to contribute in growing the economy, facilitating the creation of jobs and securing our borders.

“The Department of Home Affairs has an important contribution to make in growing tourism and by extension growing the economy and creating jobs. We are constantly reviewing our operations to ensure that we relax entry requirements without compromising our responsibility towards the safety and security of our citizens,” said Motsoaledi.

Already, South Africa has waived the visa requirement for 82 of the 193 countries who are members of the United Nations. Eighteen of the countries enjoying a visa free status in South Africa are on the continent with all Southern African Development Community countries enjoying this status, except for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

These countries which are enjoying the visa free status are among the nations which account for the majority of the international tourist sending states on the continent, Europe and the Americas.

“The Department has already sent directives to ports of entry, airlines and our missions abroad informing them of the removal of visa requirements for nationals of these countries who wish to visit our beautiful country for tourism or business meetings,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: SA Department of Home Affairs [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

New UK Fast-Track Visa for STEM Field Applicants Announced

The UK Government intends to create a fast-track visa for persons with skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

According to immigration consultants Breytenbachs, the reasoning behind this move is to attract the world’s top scientists and researchers to the UK.

“The UK Government said in its announcement that it is hoping that by introducing this visa it enhance the intellectual and knowledge base of the UK,” the group said.

“The launching of this new immigration route is indeed very good news for scientist and researchers looking to work in the UK.”

Breytenbachs said that the route will be open to all nationalities, irrespective of whether they are EU or non-EU citizens.

Opportunities for South Africans

Breytenbachs said that this new immigration route will create many opportunities for professionals in STEM.

“The new fast-track visa will offer great opportunities for individuals who qualify under this immigration route,” it said.

“Persons who apply successfully will receive a three-year visa. During their stay in the UK they can come and go from the UK at will. They will also qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, after only three years.

“Dependents of the main visa holder will be able to join the main holder in the UK. Adult dependents will be able to work in the UK without any restriction.”

Another major advantage of this new visa route, is that this new visas will have no minimum salary requirement or minimum salary threshold. There is also no need for applicants to secure a job before arriving in the UK.

Breytenbachs said that new fast-track visa will open during the later in 2019.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Doctors May Be Leaving South Africa Ahead of New National Health Insurance (NHI) System

The incoming NHI will rely on a large network of doctors to service patients around the country, with government promising ‘universal health coverage’.

However, the Sunday Times reports that the bill has renewed fears about mass emigration of doctors and other health professionals, which would kill any health plan that relies explicitly on there being more doctors.

Speaking to the paper, Dr Chris Archer, CEO of the South African Private Practitioners Forum said that his members are extremely concerned and that the bill may drive emigration as “those who want to leave see it as a reason to do so”.

Profmed medical aid CEO Craig Comrie said that health professionals are already emigrating.

Comrie said Profmed’s members are mainly health professionals, of whom 17% leave each year. This rose to 30% in June and July.

Alex van den Heever, Wits School of Governance professor, added that he expects medical professionals to emigrate in their hundreds, joining their countrymen in countries like Dubai and Australia.

Research

These concerns align with research published by Solidarity, which has previously warned that the introduction of the NHI could lead to a mass exodus of doctors from the country.

One of the most worrying findings in the survey was that 83.2% of healthcare workers believed that private health professionals will leave the country if the NHI is implemented. 43% of the respondents said that they themselves would consider emigrating.

There was also a firm belief that the scheme would completely destabilize the country’s healthcare as a result.

The major points of concern are:

  • Shortages of specialists, doctors, nursing staff and other healthcare workers;
  • Financial management of the NHI;
  • Purchasing and distribution of medicines and equipment; and
  • Maintenance of infrastructure and equipment.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].