The South African Hajj and Umrah (SAHUC) says it is scrutinizing a 96-page document detailing the guidelines and processes required from hujaaj for 2022/1443. Speaking to VOC on Wednesday morning, SAHUC president Shaheen Essop welcomed the 1 132 person quota given to South Africa amid global allocation reductions.
The Saudi Kingdom earlier stated that only those under the age of 65 may attend this year, and that all foreign pilgrims must be fully vaccinated and produce a negative covid-19 test. Essop explains that the Kingdoms documented requirements must be properly accommodated ease the process for- and treatment of- pilgrims:
“(Included) is a tremendous amount of covid requirements and protocols around that and as a result, we have to familiarize ourselves with it. There are things we will have to adjust in our system, because (for example) we have people in the cue that are 65 and older and we have to make amendments in that regard. Our office staff has been phoning these people and, alhamdulilah, the response has been very positive and understanding.”
Essop reiterated that hujaaj that ignore warnings and sign up with unaccredited operators will be responsible for any losses incurred. He further urged aspiring hujaaj to ensure they are ready to undertake the journey, as late confirmations hamper an already tight process:
“(It’s) the middle of Ramadaan- we don’t have much time. We’ve got to get operators who have applied for accreditation, accredited into the Kingdom to start with their packages. We’re not yet in possession of the prices from the Muasassa for five days of Hajj, transport etc.”
“In Sha Allah, within a few days all of that will come into play. Alhamdulilah we are not going to let that hamper us, we’re going to work as fervently as possible to ensure that those people who are ready, are going to go for Hajj this year In Sha Allah.”
Listen to the full audio here: https://echocast.fabrik.fm/GyrpJX2yDR7MX2
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