Home Affairs Gets Tough on Foreign Business Owners

By Oliver Ngwenya    17-Jul-2014 15:01 UTC+02:00

The department of Home Affairs is sending out strong signals to all sectors of the economy and society. On Wednesday, media reports indicated that the department would deny visas to companies that wished to start unscrupulous businesses.

According to the City Press, foreigners who wished to start businesses in South Africa that involved importing used cars, strip clubs, or those that wished to set up security companies would from this point onwards be denied visas to enable them to operate their businesses. It was added that these business persons would be barred from bringing into the country workers in the category of strippers, hotel workers, restaurant staff, hairdressers and beauticians using corporate visas, according to a notice in the government gazette on Wednesday.

The department reportedly released lists of what it called ‘undesirable business undertakings’. This is a new term that refers to businesses that cannot be issued with business or corporate visas from the department. The department went on to explain the difference between business and corporate visas by saying that business visas are issued to investors that wish to set up business in the country while, on the other hand, corporate visas are those that are issued to companies that intend to hire a considerable number of foreign workers.

According the department of home affairs, there are four categories of companies for which corporate visas will be denied. These are “exotic entertainment”, the hospitality industry, fast-food outlets and franchises, as well as the cosmetic and beauty industries. The list of undesirable businesses that business visas will be issued for has three entries.

They are the “import of second-hand motor vehicles for the purpose of exporting to other markets”, exotic entertainment and the security industry. This relates to the recent private security industry regulation amendment bill which prohibits foreigners from owning large chunks in private security companies.

There is, admittedly still one sticking point and that is, the department of trade and commerce which compiled the lists above still needed to reset the amount that a foreigner needed to prove they had in resources in order to qualify for a business visa. This amount used to be two and half million rand.

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