Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News – 2013-06-28
The South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) has confirmed that all hujjaj who have been affected by the 20% cut in the SA quota this year have now been contacted.
SAHUC confirmed to Voice of the Cape that all calls to the 375 affected hujjaj who registered for accreditation after 12 January 2012 were completed by Thursday.
Secretary General of SAHUC, Shaheen Essop confirmed that hajj operators had been in talks with another 125 hujjaj who had voluntarily deferred their haj to next year for various reasons.
This included people who were ready to go for haj after the deadline who had been swapped with others who registered earlier and are no longer able to go. Jointly, it makes for the full 500 that was cut from the SA haj quota of 2,500.
However it’s the visa’s for Umrah that remains a contentious issue. Speaking to Radio Islam, Fazila Malek from New Heights Travel said currently it’s a disaster.
“The systems have all shut due to the fact that there’s a lot of people in the Kingdom right now and the ministry has closed the visas until the people that are holding visas of Rajab needs to be exited and then the visas will be starting within 7 days time again,” said Malek.
Malek reiterated that hujjaj that planned themselves and are wanting to go for Umrah and are not holding a mofa which is a visa number will have to wait until the system opens. “For those that are going within this 2 to 3 days duration definitely will not be able to go due to the fact that the system is closed,”said Malek.
“For those that got their internet tickets and have not made the accommodation arrangement as well as with the visas should really start doing their homework as far as getting their visa,” said Malek. “Because otherwise nobody will be really sitting with any visas but sitting with costly factors, losing out with their tickets and obviously their accommodation.”
“And this also to be recorded, this is not only South Africa but worldwide, worldwide,” added Malek.