Qaanitah Hunter- Cii News- 5 September 2012
The South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) have officially confirmed that there will not be any increase in the Hajj quota for this year’s pilgrimage.
The organisation was denied an application for an increase in the quota by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia due to state constraints and reconstruction projects in the holy lands.
An official number of 2500 Hujaaj from South Africa will be going on the sacred pilgrimage taking place in October.
According to SAHUC secretary general, Shaheen Essop, no other country was given an increase in the quota this year as well.
“We will work with that 2500 and suffice to say, Alhamdulilah 2100 passports have already been entered to the embassy for visas,” he said.
The first group o Hujaaj is scheduled to leave on 15th September 2012.
“We are hoping InshAllah that next week Saturday when our first Hujaaj departs that all our administrative work structures from the embassy will be concluded,” he said.
According to the SAHUC registry website there were 10458 applicants for this year’s Hajj.
The latest development comes to the disappointment of many aspirant Hujaaj who hoped the regulatory body would be able to solicit an increase in the numbers.
With this meager number, SAHUC still finds themselves in a situation where individuals are cancelling at the eleventh hour.
“What I find disheartening is that people who have been accredited and have accepted operators and signed contracts with operators and now want to swap to another operator,” Essop said.
He clarified that it is not possible as it becomes an administrative nightmare to the extent that the operator may be blacklisted.
“If we have a cancellation, we try to canvass Haajis from the queue if we cannot get, then we ask the operator to find one,” Essop explained.
SAHUC always appealed to Hujaaj to do extensive verification of an operator before signing a contract with them.
Tags: 1433, 2012, hajj, quota, Sahuc