Ghana to get visa-free entry to South Africa, Nigeria not included
South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs is launching an electronic visa system. This eVisa system will come into effect in late 2019. To kick off the new system, the Department of Home Affairs has updated its list of seven countries than are now allowed visa-free visit to South Africa.
Business Tech reported the new development and the addition of seven countries to the visa-free entry to South Africa list, citing that the announcement was made by Aaron Motsoaledi, South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs.
The reason for the addition
The Minister was quoted by Business Tech to have said:
“Tourism will soar if we relax visa requirements for entry into South Africa. We know that tourism is very important for job creation.”
“Out of the 193 countries that 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 new countries on the visa-free to South Africa list
The Department of Home Affairs announced that the following countries now have visa-free status:
United Arab Emirate
Sao Tome and Principe
Other countries are still being considered
According to the Minister, South Africa will discuss with the countries on how the visa-free entry to South Africa will work. Meanwhile, the Department is said to be looking into adding India, Nigeria and China. Due to the large volume of visa applications from these three countries, the minister said:
“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.
The visa-free entry to South Africa is not reciprocal
While the countries on this list can enter South Africa without visas, South Africans will have to apply for visas to some of the countries. The exemption will be countries like Ghana and Qatar, where South Africans already have visa-free entry.
South Africans can visit 99 countries visa-free.
The e-visa will allow for an easy visa application process
Visitors and tourists can apply for their visas online in the comfort of their homes. After applying, applicants will have to wait for a response from the approval office.
According to the minister, this ease of application will make South Africa a desirable place to visit. He noted that this means a lot to the country’s tourism potential.
Nigeria is left out again
Nigerians can visit 45 countries visa-free. However, seeing as a lot of Nigerians travel to South Africa for business and tourism purposes, this exclusion feels deliberate, according to Nigerian social media users.
Source: Business Tech