Home Affairs eases New Zealand visa requirement‚ after tit for tat row

Home Affairs has added seven more countries on the list of country's that can visit South Africa without a visa.
Home Affairs has added seven more countries on the list of country's that can visit South Africa without a visa.
Image: JACKIE CLAUSEN

Seven countries have been added to the visa waiver list for travel to South Africa by the department of home affairs‚ including New Zealand‚ the United Arab Emirates and Ghana.

The others are Saudi Arabia‚ Cuba‚ Qatar and Sao Tome and Principe.

The announcement was made by home affairs minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi during the Department of Home Affairs Budget Vote speech in parliament on Wednesday.

“This is amazing news and could not have come at better time for the tourism industry‚” SA Tourism Acting CEO‚ Sthembiso Dlamini‚ said on hearing that citizens of these countries no longer require visas to visit South Africa.

“As we look to achieve our (target) to increase international tourist arrivals by 4-million and domestic holiday trips by 1-million‚ the visa waivers will go a long way to assisting the increase of tourist arrivals into South Africa.”

The loosening of visa requirements for New Zealanders ends a long-standing impasse. SA had imposed a visa requirement on New Zealand citizens in January 2017. This was in retaliation for that government doing the same to South Africans at the end of 2016 amid concerns about people trying to enter NZ with forged SA passports.

Meanwhile‚ Dlamini also welcomed the commitment by the SA government to employ additional staff to key markets where there is high demand for visas‚ in order to decrease the visa waiting time.

“Home Affairs offices that process visas for India‚ China and Nigeria will receive additional human resources‚ (this) is a further indication and commitment by government to ensure that the tourism industry is prioritized‚” said Dlamini.

- TMG Digital

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