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SAHUC hosts second Hajj awareness roadshow in Cape Town ahead of Hajj 1445AH

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By Ragheema Mclean

With the auspicious season of Hajj 2024/1445AH fast approaching for Muslims across the globe, the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) hosted its second Hajj Awareness roadshow at Oaklands High School in Lansdowne on Sunday.

The event drew dozens of prospective Hujaaj and members of the Muslim community, serving as a crucial information session to ensure pilgrims are well-prepared for their journey.

The roadshow covered diverse topics, including Hajj logistics from departing South Africa until returning home, what to expect in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and services offered by SAHUC during Hajj.

Hajj Doctor, Dr. Salim Parker highlighted the vaccinations needed to perform Hajj, including yellow fever, meningitis, and flu vaccines.

He also emphasized the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, though not mandatory, as it may be required in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“Like we have seen the past month, rules, and guidelines according to the ministry can change overnight. So, the Covid vaccine might not be mandatory now, but anything can happen, and it may be required.”

Parker further referenced how the Ministry of Hajj (MOH) recently amended the Hajj travel operator qualification criteria.

“We saw how the ministry changed the initial quota, whereby travel operators were requested to secure 50 pilgrims to qualify, had been bumped up to 100.”

Meanwhile, SAHUC’s head of Mission, Ismail Kholvalia, addressed the crowd on Hajj logistics, urging hujaaj to comply with mission workers and conduct themselves considerately.

“I cannot stress this enough, Hujaaj need to comply with our mission workers. They are only doing their jobs and are trying to make things easier for the Hajjis,” Kholvalia added.

Speaking on VOC Breakfast on Monday, SAHUC President Moaaz Cassoo urged pilgrims to reach out to their online portal for queries or any concerns.

“We have an online portal where individuals can raise questions or queries, or they can contact the SAHUC offices or visit our offices from one-on-one sessions.”

Will there be a ready to go list?

Regarding additional quotas, Cassim said they are unable to request additional quota until they fulfil certain requirements stipulated by the MOH.

He explained, “For the 2024 Hajj season the ministry instructed new timelines and guidelines in terms of all the payments required.”

“The first milestone the ministry had for countries around the world not just SA was on the 25th of February 2024 – they wanted all payments for the 5 days of Hajj to be settled, unfortunately, not all of the travel operators in SA have complied with this deadline.”

Cassoo explained that compliance with the Ministry’s timelines and guidelines is crucial before SAHUC can request additional quotas.

“At the moment we cannot request additional quote until we can fulfil this requirement by the ministry. Once this is done, SAHUC will request additional quota and if the ministry signs off, we will release the ready-to-go list with the additional names.”

He highlighted the need for timely payments by pilgrims, as delays can impact the overall process and urged operators and pilgrims to collaborate to meet these requirements and deadlines.

VOC News

Photo: VOCfm

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