South Africa has risen in rank on the latest Passport Index for 2018 as conducted by travel advisor, Henley & Partners. South Africa rose in rank to 50th in the world, meaning South African residents can now travel to a total of 102 visa-free countries.

Speaking to BusinessTech, director of Signal Risk – a political and security risk-management consultancy – Ryan Cummings said that South Africa may climb up the ladder even more than it has on the Passport Index for 2018 in coming years.

He noted that South Africa came down from its 2009 ranking of being at number 35, and attributed this fall to the unlawful replication of South African passport documents.

This replication of passport documents is often caused by corrupt officials within the Department of Home Affairs, resulting in visa regulations being enforced in several countries, including Colombia and the United Kingdom.

“However, the implementation of widespread reforms at the Department of home Affairs since 2014 – focused on improving security features both in the application process and within the passport document itself – is expected to enhance confidence in the South African passport and may relax visa restrictions for its holders going forward,” he said.

Other factors that could strengthen the South African passport over the short to medium term include President Cyril Ramaphosa easing visa regulations for African passport holders (as this will encourage intra-African trade) and deploying an economic envoy to secure $100-billion in direct foreign investment.

“Both of these developments are expected to bring about an uptick in the signing of bilateral visa-waiver agreements between South Africa and its trade partners, as a means of facilitating ease of trade and commerce,”Cummings said.

Below are the countries that South Africans may now travel to visa-free.

Africa 

Angola

Benin*

Botswana

Cape Verde Islands*

Comores Islands*

Djibouti*

Ethiopia*

Gabon*

Ghana*

Guinea-Bissau*

Kenya

Lesotho

Madagascar*

Malawi

Mauritania

Mauritius

Mozambique

Namibia

Reunion

Rwanda*

Senegal

Seychelles*

Somalia*

St. Helena*

Swaziland

Tanzania

Togo*

Tunisia

Uganda*

Zambia*

Zimbabwe

Asia 

Cambodia*

Hong Kong (SAR China)

Indonesia

Kyrgyzstan*

Laos*

Macao (SAR China)

Malaysia

Maldives*

Nepal*

Philippines

Singapore

South Korea

Sri Lanka*

Tajikistan*

Thailand

Timor-Leste*

Europe 

Ireland

Kosovo

Russian Federation

Oceania

Cook Islands

Micronesia

Niue

Palau Islands

Samoa

Tuvalu

Vanuatu

Caribbean

Antigua and Barbuda

Bahamas

Barbados

British Virgin Islands

Cayman Islands

Dominica

Dominican Republic

Grenada

Haiti

St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Lucia

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Trinidad and Tobago

Turks and Caicos Islands

Americas

Argentina

Belize

Bolivia

Brazil

Chile

Costa Rica

Ecuador

El Salvador

Falkland Islands

Guatemala

Nicaragua

Panama

Paraguay

Peru

Uruguay

Venezuela

Middle East/Other

Armenia*

Georgia

Iran*

Israel

Jordan*

Oman*

Palestinian Territory

Qatar

Turkey*

* Indicates visa-on-arrival.

Picture: Pixabay

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.