By Anees Teladia
Hujaaj waiting to be called for Hajj received good news on Friday when the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (Sahuc) released the fourth accreditation list for Hajj 2019/1440. Those who choose to accept the accreditation will soon be embarking on a life changing journey, fulfilling an Islamic duty and privilege.
Speaking on the newly released fourth Hajj accreditation list, Sahuc’s first deputy president, Shaheen Essop, addressed issues surrounding Hajj accreditation and provided some vital information for Hujaaj.
According to Essop, 500 people have deferred their haj this year, which lead Sahuc to issue the fourth Hajj list. The issue of Hujaaj deferring is quite clearly a significant challenge for Sahuc in their efforts to maintain fairness throughout the Hajj travel process.
These deferrals not only affect Sahuc but other Hujaaj as well.
“Nobody actually gives reasons for deferring…going forward we will be looking into that,” said Essop.
“The maximum deferral is three years. Once that period is reached you are taken out of the queue and put at the back of the queue.”
“I think it’s only fair that people who are waiting in the queue aren’t delayed by those deferring continuously…[so] we are only going to allow a maximum of three deferrals, otherwise the person must go and re-apply.”
People are urged to look at their positions in the queue when lists are released and to make decisions as to whether they are ready for Hajj, or not, accordingly.
“There has been a significant increase in deferral or dropout of accredited Hujaaj.”
“Don’t wait until you’re accredited to find funds for Hajj,” said Essop.
“From an international perspective, South Africa is still by far the cheapest as far as Hajj is concerned.”
Essop also provided important details for those Hujaaj who wish to change their operators.
“An operator can be changed provided there is no contract linking them. There [also] has to be a valid reason why the Hujaaj want to change,” said Essop.
“They need to send an email to Sahuc stating why they want to change. Sahuc will then investigate if a contract is in place or not and then do the necessary change.”
“The maximum date by which we are going to switch operators is going to be the 29th March. Beyond the 29th, there will be no switching of operators whatsoever.”
The email address for Sahuc regarding change of operators is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hujaaj have until the 31st March, 18:00pm to accept or defer accreditation for the 4th List.