VISA : SOUTH AFRICA SNUBS NIGERIA, GRANTS GHANA VISA FREE ENTRY

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The Department of Home Affairs says the country ’ s new eVisa system will launch in November 2019 , and it has added new nations to the list of countries that can enter South Africa visa – free .

According to a report by Business Tech and tweeted via the unverified Twitter handle of Home Affairs @HomeAffairsSA on Wednesday , seven new countries can now visit South Africa visa – free .

The report quoted the South African Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi , as having announced that seven new countries will be added to the list of nations that are able to come to South Africa without a visa .

“ 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 ( Southern African Development Community ) members and 59 are from all over the world . ”

The department announced that the following countries will now be able to enter the country , visa -free :

Qatar , United Arab Emirates , New Zealand , Saudi Arabia , Cuba ,
Ghana, Sao Tome and Principe
The minister said his office will 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.

A department spokesperson said 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 .

The department noted that some countries , such as Qatar and Ghana , already have visa – free or visa on arrival agreements with South Africa.

According to the latest Henley Passport Index , South Africans can visit 99 countries around the globe visa -free .

Also speaking at the department ’s budget vote , deputy minister of Home Affairs, Njabulo Nzuza said that the department is moving forward with the implementation of the country ’s e-Visa regime .

“ This regime will place technology at the centre of our operations by making it easy , yet secure , to enter South Africa ,” he told Business Tech .

The e-Visa system will allow tourists and visitors to South African apply for their visas online . These applications will then be sent to a central adjudication and approval office, while the prospective visitors “ sit at the comfort of their own home . ”

The new system will also open South Africa as a desirable destination through the ease of its visa systems , the deputy minister said, adding that it will have huge tourism growth implications for the country .

The e-Visa regime is anticipated to be fully introduced in November 2019 .

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