South Africa has revised its visa requirements for certain countries, including Ghana, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.
Minister of Home Affairs (DHA) Aaron Motsoaledi, announced the new list of visa-free countries at the Budget Vote 2019, earlier on Wednesday. The new list is as follows - with roll-out under way and full implementation set for November 2019. The new visa programme is no longer subjected to a reciprocal policy usually required by Department of International Relations (DIRCO), says Motsoaledi, as this is in the best interest of travel and tourism to SA.
- United Arab Emirates
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- Sao Tome and Principe
This comes after repeated calls for a revised visa program to boost tourism to South Africa, including from President Cyril Ramaphosa during his #SONA in both February and June.
"These measures have the potential to boost tourism and make business travel a lot more conducive. Tourism continues to be a great job creator and through these measures we are confident that many more tourists will visit South Africa," says Ramaphosa.
South Africa is also rolling out its e-visas, with "Phase 1 to include applications for temporary residence visas, adjudication of temporary residence visas, applications for waivers, notifications to the applicant via email and biometrics captured."
E-visas will make it easier for tourists to visit, and for companies to acquire employees with critical skills.
The e-visa will "be an online application with a risk-based adjudication and issuance of your visa electronically as opposed to a hard copy. On receiving the electronic message by email, you just continue straight to your airport and head on to South Africa," says Motsoaledi.
"The problem is not that people must not come to South Africa, but that whoever enters the country must be properly documented. The porous borders make documentation extremely difficult."
The DHA says once the bill is passed, the Biometric pilot projects will be focussed at "OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town Seaport, Oshoek land post between eswatini and South Africa as well as Lebombo land post between Mozambique and South Africa".