President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the National Government will be looking into implementing a Remote Work Visa has been welcomed by the City of Cape Town.
Mayco Member for Economic Growth, Alderman James Vos said: “Just over a year ago, I first highlighted the economic spin-offs of this new visa when Cape Town made the Big 7 Travel website’s ‘Best cities for remote working’ list.”
Since then, the City, in partnership with Cape Town Tourism (CTT), hosted a Remote Work Webinar that brought together tourism and hospitality sector stakeholders who shared insights on how and why to appeal to ‘digital nomads’.
“We have learnt that each one of these working tourists tends to spend up to R50 000 during their stay, which has the potential to add up to a significant boon for the economy. This revenue reaches multiple industries, including educational institutions, transport, accommodation, retail, and restaurants,” Vos adds.
Under the proposal of Vos, the National Government would simply need to make an amendment to Section 11 of the Immigration Act, which relates to an extension of visas beyond 90 days for specific activities. This is because remote workers tend to stay beyond three months in a location.
The application can be authorised by a Ministerial Directive while applying regulations already in place and governing visitors’ visa applications. At present, these visa applicants must show:
- Control of sufficient financial resources (by means of a bank statement);
- Proof of accommodation and medical insurance for the duration of their stay;
- Medical certificate, radiological report, and police clearances.
The remote working visa will additionally:
- Require an applicant to provide evidence of employment abroad, as well as a sufficient income from such employment or own business registered abroad;
- Allow the applicant’s dependants to accompany them.
Last year, Vos submitted this proposal to the National Home Affairs Department and in the coming days, he will reach out again with suggestions for the next steps.
He will also begin engagements with industry bodies such as CTT and the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (Fedhasa) to get the ball rolling on creating specific product and pricing categories that cater to this specific market so that Cape Town remains top of mind for these travellers.
“The remote work model isn’t just a trend, it’s here to stay. Let’s fully capitalise on what we as a city and country can offer digital nomads,” concludes Vos.
Picture: City of Cape Town
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This content was originally published here.