From the news desk

Cost of non-special services camp increases

The cost of the non-special services camp for hajj is expected to increase, after it was announced that Camp C+ will be fitted with fire resistant tents. The South African Haj and Umrah Council (Sahuc) said it received the notification from the Saudi Haj Ministry on Friday, a week after its national roadshow in Cape Town.

The South African Haj Travel Operators Association said this would directly impact on the cost of hajj packages, but at a minimal R750.

“The camp price increased from 1200 to 1400 riyal. For the cost, it only affects the non-special services camps and this equates to R750 onto the hajj package,” said Sathoa president Sedick Steenkamp.

He said the fire proof tents could not be disputed, as it is for the safety of hujjaj.

Sahuc president Shaheen Essop said there would be significant changes in the overall structure of the camps.

“When the air coolers are being used on the Day of Arafah, you cannot use it in the normal canvass tents because it will be fruitless. So this is obviously to make it very comfortable for the pilgrims, on the most important day of hajj.”

Operators have been asked to explain these costs to their clients and assist hujjaj in offsetting this cost. Steenkamp however urged hujjaj to continue to shop around before making a decision on a travel operator. VOC

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