The South African government has announced visa free regimes for citizens of some countries including Ghana. Ghana however, has a visa on arrival regime for all African Union member countries, including South Africa.
The South African government is however, yet to discuss the details of how that would work with the governments of the countries and when the regime will come into effect.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi made the announcement Wednesday July 10, 2019 in the South African Parliament during a speech on the occasion of the vote on the Home Affairs budget.
“Today, we wish to announce an addition to our visa – free countries. These are: Qatar, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe
We will immediately enter into discussions with them about how a visa-free regime will work. We still have some homework to do for three countries whose combined populations make up close to 30 per cent of the world’s population i.e. China, India and Nigeria,” he said.
He said, “while we are busy tackling the matter of the three countries. For now we shall this financial year, increase two and half times the number of people who work for Home Affairs to process visas in both China and India. We shall increase two times the number of people who process visas to our country in Nigeria.”
The Ministry also tweeted the announcement on its Twitter handle.
Today, we wish to announce an addition to our visa – free countries.
•United Arab Emirates
•Sao Tome and Principe@travel24 @tourism_gov_za#DHABudgetVote2019 pic.twitter.com/u6edTwkWxu
— HomeAffairsSA (@HomeAffairsSA) July 10, 2019
The Minister indicated that while the Home Affairs Department’s core mandate is issuing identification, it also contributes significantly to economic growth.
“We do this by making life easier for our sister Departments such as Tourism to boast their tourism figures. 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 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 members and 59 are from all over the world,” he said.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi