Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi on Wednesday, announced that seven new countries will be added to the list of nations that are able to come to South Africa without a visa.
Of the seven, two were African nations – Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe, while the remaining five are:
- United Arab Emirates
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
“Tourism will soar if we relax visa requirements for entry into South Africa. We know that Tourism is very important for job creation,” he said.
“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.”
São Tomé and Principe is an island country in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa.The country achieved its independence from Portugal in 1975 with a large offshore oil reserves and a population over.
The minister said that, for countries like China, India and Nigeria, his office will immediately enter into discussions with the countries about how a visa-free regime will work.
“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.
Meanwhile South Africa government is working on implementing an e-visa system. The country, which is also a key tourist destination, believes that with E-visa, it will be easier for tourist to visit, hence boosting the industry according to authorities.
The process will involve an online application for visa electronically as oppose to old fashion way of using a hard copy. With the successful implementation of this, traveling to South Africa will be within the reach of electronic message by email.
According to the deputy minister of Home Affairs, Njabulo Nzuza, the department is moving forward with the implementation of the country’s e-Visa regime.
The e-Visa regime which is anticipated to be fully introduced in November 2019 will put the country as a desirable destination for tourist due to the ease of its visa systems, the deputy minister said.