The new Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, has released a statement advising that seven new countries will be added to the group of companies that do not require visas to visit South Africa.
This statement is particularly welcome with regards to the promotion of in-bound tourism to South Africa. Mr Motsoaledi confirmed this in his statement advising that: “Tourism will soar if we relax visa requirements for entry into South Africa. We know that Tourism is very important for job creation.”
It is a particularly progressive move from the Department of Home Affairs as the addition of the new countries have not required those countries to provide reciprocal agreements to provide South Africans with visa free entry into their own countries.
Mr Motsoaledi further added that “Out of the 193 countries who 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.”
The newly added countries that will now be able to enter South Africa without a visa are the following:
The Department of Home Affairs further advised that they will 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”.
All of the above is positive for South Africa, and particularly the tourism industry which has faced recent challenges.
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