South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has added new nations to its list of countries that can enter the rainbow nation visa-free.
Concise News learned that a report tweeted via the Twitter handle of Home Affairs @HomeAffairsSA on Wednesday says that seven newly added countries can now visit the country without a visa.
“Tourism will soar if we relax visa requirements for entry into South Africa. We know that tourism is very important for job creation,” South African Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, said.
“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 (Southern African Development Community) members and 59 are from all over the world.”
The countries are Qatar, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Cuba,
Ghana, Sao Tome and Principe.
Meanwhile, the minister said his office will immediately enter into discussions with the countries about how a visa-free regime will work, with “homework” still considering to be done for countries like China, India and Nigeria.
“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,” he added.
“We shall double the number of people who process visas to our country in Nigeria.”
The department spokesperson disclosed that the countries announced by the minister only apply to inbound visas (citizens from the listed countries visiting South Africa) and that outbound visas (South Africans visiting the countries listed) require to be negotiated on a country-by-country basis.
The department noted that some countries, such as Qatar and Ghana, already have visa-free or visa on arrival an accord with South Africa.
The Henley Passport Index latest reports are that South Africans can visit 99 countries around the globe visa-free.