With three months to go before the sacred pilgrimage, South Africa’s hajj quota for 1440/ 2019 has finally been filled. The Western Cape has the most hujjaj in comparison to other provinces at 41%. The South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) made the announcement last night, following another round of hajj roadshows across the country this week. South Africa was granted a quota of 3500 for this year, a small increment from the previous quota of 2500.
Since the start of the hajj process, Sahuc had released six accreditation lists due to a high deferral rate. Many hujjaj chose to postpone their pilgrimage this year due to the high cost of hajj, amongst other issues.
Sahuc has a perpetual registration list which currently stands at 23,000 first time pilgrims. With the current status quo, it can take between 4 to 5 years for a South African Muslim to perform Hajj.
A Sahuc delegation which met with the Saudi Hajj Ministry during the annual signing of the haj protocols earlier this year had requested a quota of 6000. Saudi Arabia sets hajj quotas on the basis of an international Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) agreement, allowing 1,000 pilgrims per million of the total Muslim population in each sending country, although since 2017 it has been somewhat flexible.
Sahuc’s national spokesperson Moaaz Casoo said they are relieved that the quota has been fulfilled and that the next stages of hajj preparation can take its course.
“Alhamdulillah the South African Hajj quota for 2019 has been filled. We would like to thank all the hujjaj for their promptness in completing all the required information. May Allah (swt) make it easy for all the hujjaj and grant them a hajj maqbool and hajj mabroor Insha’Allah.”
The first day of Hajj is expected to begin on 9 August and ends on the 14th.