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Visa Requirements for Tourists Under the Spotlight

July 15, 2019

Department of Home Affairs

15 July 2019

Tourism arrivals will increase if visa requirements for entry into South Africa are relaxed.

Speaking during the home affairs department’s 2019 budget vote in parliament, the home affairs minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, added that tourism plays an important role in job creation.

The minister announced 8 additions to the list of visa-free countries.

These include:

• Qatar
• United Arab Emirates
• New Zealand
• Saudi Arabia
• Cuba
• Ghana
• Sao Tome and Principe

The minister confirmed that China, India and Nigeria remained on the department’s radar.

Implementation of the e-visa system will also be speeded up.

“The e-visa system will advance deployment of immigration as a tool for economic development outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP). We will hence deliver on this effective visa regime for tourism and high skill immigration.”

Applications for visas will be made online and visas will be issued electronically.

As regards the Border Management Authority (BMA), agreed to by cabinet in 2013, the department will seek to resuscitate the bill in the national council of provinces.

The bill was tabled in parliament in 2016 and passed by the national assembly in June 2017.

The minister pointed out that, once the bill is passed, the BMA pilot projects will start and focus on OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town Seaport, Oshoek land port between eSwatini and South Africa as well as Lebombo land port between Mozambique and South Africa.

One-Stop Border Posts are also to be set up.

Initially, 6 land border posts will be revamped and redeveloped as part of a public-private partnership.

The six include Beitbridge (Bordering with Zimbabwe), Ficksburg (with Lesotho), Kopfontein (with Botswana), Lebombo (with Mozambique), Oshoek (with eSwatini) and Maseru (with Lesotho).