In a bid to create a system that will open South Africa as a desirable destination through the ease of visa systems, the country has officially announced new visa amendments, Fox Meek reports.
The list of countries that will now be able to enter South Africa, visa-free, obtained by Fox Meek after being released by the department on the Home Affairs includes; ‘Ghana, Sao Tome and Principe, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Cuba.’
In a statement by Aaron Motsoaledi, the South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs, there is a need for more “homework” to be done before adding other countries that includes; Nigeria, India, and China to its list of countries that can visit the country visa-free.
Read Mr. Motsoaledi statement below;
“Out of the 193 countries that are member states of the United Nations, the Department has granted visa-free status to 75 countries. Of these 16 are in our continent and are SADC members and 59 are from all over the world.
“Tourism will soar if we relax visa requirements for entry into South Africa. We know that Tourism is very important for job creation.
“We would immediately enter into discussions with the countries about how a visa-free regime will work, with “homework” still needing to be done for countries like China, India, and Nigeria.
“While we are busy tackling the matter of the three countries, we shall this financial year increase two and a half times the number of people who work for Home Affairs to process visas in both China and India. We shall double the number of people who process visas to our country in Nigeria,” he said.
Fox Meek learnt that the countries announced by the minister only apply to inbound visas (citizens from the listed countries visiting South Africa) and that outbound visas (South Africans visiting the countries listed) need to be negotiated on a country-by-country basis.
South Africans, according to the latest Henley Passport Index, can visit 99 countries around the globe visa-free.
Njabulo Nzuza, the deputy minister of Home Affairs, also disclosed that the office is moving forward with the implementation of the country’s e-Visa regime.
The e-Visa regime is slated to be fully introduced in November 2019.