Lukanyo Mnyanda Editor: Business Day

When it comes to politicians who put their egos and ideological hang-ups ahead of the national good, South Africans can often feel alone, or exceptional. The country’s controversial visa regime and the resultant damage to tourism is one case in point. It was pushed through by the department of home affairs despite warnings that it would be catastrophic for an industry that provides more than a tenth of all employment in SA . Even when evidence mounted, with data showing a drop in actual numbers of travellers from key markets and airlines reporting declining demand for flights, the department, and the minister, Malusi Gigaba, stood their ground. Four years too late, the government recognised the damage and President Cyril Ramaphosa made reversing the restrictions one of the key centrepieces among measures announced at his jobs summit to unlock growth and making a dent in the jobless crisis. With the minister seeming too proud to admit his folly, all Gigaga promised as a form of redre...

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