2024 Hajj: SAHUC hosts first Awareness Programme in Cape Town

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Hundreds of prospective Hujaaj (pilgrims) and the greater Muslim community in Cape Town and the Western Cape filled the Oaklands High School Hall in Chukker Road Landsdowne yesterday as the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) hosted its first Hajj Awareness Programme for the 1445AH/ 2024 Hajj season.

SAHUC board member Shaheen Essop set the tone, inviting attendees to join in the resonant call: “Labbaik Allahumma labbaik. Labbaik la sharika laka labbaik. Innal-hamda wa-nimata laka wal-mulk, la sharika laka.”

“Let’s get the geez of Hajj into our hearts and in this hall today, brothers and sisters join in with me.”
“Labbaik Allahumma labbaik. Labbaik la sharika laka labbaik. Innal-hamda wa-nimata laka wal-mulk, la sharika laka…”

The programme covered an array of topics, including Hajj pricing and guidelines, national Hajj accreditation, and the Hajj mission.

SAHUC’s first Deputy President, Sheikh Riad Fataar, urged future pilgrims to maximize their Hajj experience and earnestly offer duas (prayers) for Gaza and Palestine as well.

He stressed, “Don’t forget Gaza and Palestine needs your duas. We need you to put up your hands and make duah for Gaza and Palestine.”

Meanwhile, SAHUC President Moaaz Cassoo noted that the 2024 Hajj quota currently stands at 2500 pilgrims.

The body released the first accreditation list of Hujjaaj for 1445H/ 2024 on Friday the 1st of December.
These accredited individuals have until 31 December at 6pm, to either accept or defer their accreditation, while the selection of an approved travel operator will be due by 4 January 2024 at 6pm.

Regarding queries on a “ready to go list”, Cassoo explained:

“Currently there is no ready to go list, we will only open up the list if we receive an additional quota allocation for South Africa.”

“Please do not send us emails to add your details on the ready to do list as that list does not exist at this point in time.”

Cassoo noted that that the body has already submitted a request for a quota increase and assured that any quota increase would be communicated to the public.

“Individuals would then be granted the opportunity to be added to the ready to go list.”

“All that you pay SAHUC is the registration fee the accreditation fee. Any additional costs are paid to your selected travel operator.”

Responding to concerns about service delivery during the 2023 Hajj season, SAHUC assured attendees of proactive measures, including escalating issues to the highest level of the Hajj and Umrah ministry.

“We have expressed concerns on several occasions and emphasized that our people are not paying tens of thousands for poor service.”

Furthermore, several accredited travel operators set up stalls in the high schools courtyard, where they presented and discussed some of the Hajj pricing and packages to future Hujaaj.

Giving some guidelines to prospective Hujaaj, SAHUC board member, Shaheen Essop emphasised the importance of never signing a blank contract with a travel operator.

“When making a decision on which travel operator to go with, never sign a blank contract. Never give the opportunity for someone to make promises they have not committed to in writing.”

Essop added, “It is absolutely crucial that you allow time to scrutinize and examine the travel operators and make informed decisions before signing your contract.”

SAHUC hopes to conclude the first accreditation process by the end of January 2024, therefore they will release the second and third accreditation list.

Source: vocfm