Following the shocking news that the Saudi Arabian Ministers Council to reduce the quotas of nations by 20% impacting a reduction of 500 visas for South African Hujjaj, the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) has made a humble appeal to accredited Hujjaj to voluntarily defer accreditation to 2014.
Those who defer will be guaranteed of accreditation in 2014 (1435AH) Insha-Allah. Hujjaj who desire to follow this route, should contact SAHUC, via email to sahucSG@sahuc.org.za – mark the email VOLUNTARY DEFERMENT or alternatively to contact the SAHUC offices during working hours. A fax can also be sent to 086 672 4913.
Should SAHUC not adequately fill the reduction, they will apply a last in first out process.
Below is the official notification that has been received from the Ministry of Hajj regarding the quota reduction which has also been translated for ease of reference.
SAHUC Appeals to Accredited Hujjaj to Volantarily Defer Accreditation to 2014
KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA
THE OFFICE OF THE MINISTER OF THE HAJJ MINISTRY
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND CONFIDENTIAL URGENT LETTER
The President of the South African Hajj & Umarah Council of South Africa
Assalaamu-Alaykoem Warraghmatullaahie Wabarakatu
With regard to the protocols that have been signed for the Hujjaaj who will be coming to perform hajj 1434 that was sent to you, number 251 dated the 28/4/1434, point number 1 of that protocol where the amount 2500 for the quota of Hujjaaj was stipulated.
The Saudi Arabian government had put in place the biggest construction to extend the two holy harams, Makkah-tul-Mukkarama and Madina-tul-Munawarah and the aim was to increase the capacity for the amount of Muslims who come every year to perform hajj and Umrah in order to allow the maximum Hujjaaj to come to the holy land.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of the custodians of the two holy mosques spent trillions of Riyaals on this project to renovate the two harams, Makkah-tulMukkarama and Madina-tul-Munawarah and the Mashaaer (Arafat, Mena & Musdalifah). What follows this project is a network of road between the cities of hajj so the Hujjaaj may travel with ease between these places. The different renovations that took place on the different routes of entry like the airport, sea and road was to upgrade the routes which hujjaaj travel to their different destinations in , Makkahtul-Mukkarama and Madina-tul-Munawarah and the Mashaaer (Arafat, Mena & Musdalifah) in order to make their travel easy.
The Prince Mohammad bin Abdul Aziz Airport in Madinah and the King Abdul Aziz Airport in Jeddah also saw big renovation which also helped to make the arrival of hujjaaj easier so that they can move through easier and documentation can be processed much quicker. This was all done to make the hujjaaj’s travel easy.
Different departments and organisations in charge of studying the project of the expansion of the mataaf in the haram of Makkah discovered a major problem where the capacity on the mataaf is concerned. The mataaf cannot accommodate the amount of Hujjaaj that comes from outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The amount of Hujjaaj that previously came to the Kingdom, before the construction started, and the capacity of the mataaf at that time in an hour was (48 000) Hujjaaj making tawaaf. Since the project started, the number of Hujjaaj making tawaaf in an hour has decreased to (22 000). This confirmed that the mataaf cannot take the big amount of hajjis, as it used to, in this hajj season, 1434. Therefore we have to reduce the amount of Hujjaaj coming to the Kingdom from all Arab and Islamic countries by 20% of their previous years, 1433, quota for this hajj season. Temporarily, the quota has been reduced until the construction of the mataaf has been completed to ensure the safety of the Hujjaaj and Mu’tamireen.
The matter at hand needs to be addressed with urgency and the situation the Kingdom is in at the moment must be considered and try and help the Kingdom by reducing the amount of the Hujjaaj for their own safety and comfort.
Please try and understand what the Saudi Kingdom is going through and understand the Saudi government’s responsibility towards the guests of Allah to ensure their safety, comfort and peace of mind. The Kingdom is trying to reduce the quota for the Republic of South Africa by 20% from their total quota of 2500 as agreed upon. Therefore, the total quota for Hujjaaj for the Republic of South Africa will be 2000 Hujjaaj for this year, 1434.
The Ministry of Hajj humbly appeals to South Africa to co-operate in this regard and to have workshops to inform and explain the situation as it is in the Kingdom with the construction to expand the mataaf.
We would like to point out that the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was lenient and helpful to increase the quota for the Republic of South Africa in previous years where the Kingdom allowed for South Africa to send more people to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, despite different constructions of previous years that took place where the Kingdom provided the different requirements for Hujjaaj for the safety and comfort and spent trillions of Riyaals and with the Qudrat of Allah, we had positive and successful outcomes in previous hajj seasons, no incidents, no accidents, no disasters which affected the guests of Allah, by the Grace of Allah.
The ongoing projects that is observed by everyone will benefit with Grace of Allah (S.W.A), it will allow more people who wants to perform hajj and Umrah from the Arab and Islamic countries and all parts of the world in years to come and your co-operation and understanding for everything pointed out that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will complete this project that will benefit all Muslims in the world and it will increase the capacity of the mataaf for the Hujjaaj and Mu’tamireen in years to come, by the Will of Allah.
The huge projects that have been taking place in the two harams and the two holy cities of Makkah-tul-Mukkarama and Madina-tul-Munawarah will increase the level of service so the hajji can perform his spiritual journey in peace, harmony and enjoyment for all the guests of Allah.
We are appealing to your Excellency to look at this matter and your co-operation and understanding in this regard which is for the benefit and the safety and the comfort of the guests of Allah (S.W.A.) and that you must adhere to the reduction of the quota that has been issued for your Hujjaaj which is for the year 1434, the total of (2000) hajjis.
And accept our gratitude and appreciation
The Minister of Hajj
Dr Bandar bin Muhammad Al Hajjar
Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News-2013-06-16