Ramaphosa, who took office in February, first outlined plans last week to change the visa regime in his “stimulus and recovery plan,” which aims at reviving an economy that entered a recession in the second quarter, but never provided details.
Visitors from a number of countries, including the UK, U.S., Germany, France, the Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia and Angola, don’t need visas to come to South Africa.
The government is in talks about extending the exemption to other nationals, including those from Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Sao Tome & Principe, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Iran, Lebanon, Kuwait and Cuba, Gigaba said.
Other concessions include allowing frequent visitors to South Africa to apply for three-year multiple entry visas, and business people and academics from Africa to seek 10-year multiple-entry visas.
South African minors will still require the consent of both parents to leave the country and must be in possession of their birth certificate, Gigaba said. The latter requirement will be dropped when the government implements plans to issue minors with passports.
The government plans to smooth the clearance of travellers through the busiest border posts, by installing a biometric movement-control system. The new system is nearing completion, with several pilot sites already up and running.