At the Home Affairs budget vote on Wednesday July 10, Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Home Affairs, announced new visa requirements aimed at encouraging tourists from certain countries to visit South Africa.
Motsoaledi announced that travellers from seven newly-selected countries will now be able to visit South Africa without the need for a visa.
This move was motivated by recent statistics from Stats SA that showed a decline in the number of visits from historically-frequent visiting foreigners, including New Zealand nationals.
Hopes are that this visa-free introduction will act as an incentive for tourists to visit SA more frequently and boost the economy.
Those living in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Ghana, and São Tomé and Príncipe will now be able to plan a holiday in SA without having to factor in visa application and issuing times.
Motsoaledi said that the Department of Home Affairs would educate these countries on how the new visa-free regime works and encourage them to take advantage of this new offering.
Along with this announcement, Motsoaledi added that Home Affairs will be doubling their staff to accommodate the expected visa processing from China and India in addition to the newly-added visa-free countries.
This move, coupled with the new e-visa system, is expected to positively affect the country’s economy and welcome more visitors to our shores than ever before.