South Africa shuns Nigeria, waives visa for three nations
The Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, on Thursday announced that South Africa will implement visa waiver for citizens of Ghana, Cuba and Sao Tome and Principe, to promote tourism. No mention was made of Nigerian citizens some of whom face xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
Motsoaledi said his department was scheduled to complete negotiations with the countries by the end of August and that the implementation would follow soon after.
Earlier, South Africa announced visa waiver for citizens of New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Travellers from these four countries will no longer require a visa to visit South Africa for holidays, conferencing and business.
“We took this decision unilaterally but we are engaging these countries to see how they can relax entry requirements for our citizens.
“I am glad to say that Qatar has already waived visa requirements for South Africans and this will enable our people to attend Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 easier,’’ Motsoaledi said.
The minister said that his department was continuously reviewing its operations to contribute to economic growth, facilitate the creation of jobs and secure their borders.
“We are constantly reviewing our operations to ensure that we relax entry requirements without compromising our responsibility towards the safety and security of our citizens.’’
Motsoaledi added that South Africa has waived visa requirement for citizens of 82 of the 193 countries, who are members of the United Nations, including 18 African countries.
The majority of countries whose citizens can visit South Africa visa-free are among the major tourist source nations, the minister said.
He added that “the department has already sent directives to ports of entry, airlines and representatives abroad informing them of the removal of visa requirements for nationals of these countries.