Home News SA hajj pilgrims to be refunded in unprecedented move

SA hajj pilgrims to be refunded in unprecedented move

by Zahid Jadwat


SAHUC president Moaaz Casoo announced pilgrims will receive a refund. [Picture: Nasreen Naidoo/Salaamedia]


South African pilgrims who embarked on Hajj in 2023 will soon receive a partial refund. This was the result of months of negotiations between the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) and stakeholders, following several hiccups during the pilgrimage.

SAHUC made the unprecedented announcement at a press briefing at the Suleiman Nana Memorial Centre in Crosby, Johannesburg, on Friday morning.

Many were left hungry, hot and frustrated when service providers failed to ensure a smooth hajj in 2023.

But, SAHUC president Moaaz Casoo stressed, “one needs to remember that last year was the first year, post-Covid, where the numbers were back to pre-Covid in terms of quota allocations for all countries”.

“Last year was the first time where the service provider failed to deliver against what was agreed on contractually,” he said.

He then announced that the Saudi ministry of hajj and umrah, as well as service provider Ithraa Alkhair, had agreed an “ex gratia” payment for all 3 500 pilgrims.

An amount of 3 049 041.67 in Saudi Riyals (R14 805 197.60) is being held in Saudi Arabia, which will soon be channelled towards pilgrims. Those who stayed in Camp A will receive refunds of 41.5% each, and those who stayed in Camp D will receive 17.8% each.

Shaheen Essop, former SAHUC president, outlined the process from here: “Right now, the funds are sitting in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As you know, with regards to exchange control and processes …. it may just take a few days for that funds to come into our coffers in South Africa, after which the necessary process for the refund rollout will take place.”


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