Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad's Statement on the new Hajj and Umrah Regulations

The South African Government has been advised by the Hajj authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that new regulations have been enacted this year to facilitate the flow of pilgrims to the Holy Sites in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These new regulations are intended not only to improve the security of all the pilgrims but also to expedite the necessary bureaucratic process involved in the movement of the millions of pilgrims who travel to the Kingdom for Hajj and Umrah purposes.

These new regulations mean that it will no longer be possible for individuals to travel on their own to perform Hajj. In terms of the Protocol signed by the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj only groups using travel agents registered with SAHUC will be permitted to obtain visas from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.

The Department of Foreign Affairs now requests all people who intend to perform their Hajj this year, and all the travel agents involved, to accept these new regulations promulgated by the Saudi Arabian Hajj authorities and to work with SAHUC to ensure that the good reputation of the South African Hajjaj is maintained.

For further information, please contact Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

19 December 2001

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