SA e-visas to launch next month

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 9 October 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the Department of Home Affairs in Pretoria on Friday 4 October, according to the Daily Maverick, to announce the launch of an e-visa pilot scheme which will be initiated next month.

According to Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (Satsa) CEO David Frost, the announcement was welcomed, saying that this is ‘huge news’ for the inbound tourism industry.

The new e-visa system will allow both international visitors who want to come to South Africa and those in South Africa who want to travel outside the country to upload their biometrics online instead of having to visit the embassy or Department of Home Affairs. This saves both time and money.

‘Changes to our visa regime are designed to make it easier for visitors to experience our country and contribute to our economy through their purchase of goods and services,’ said Ramaphosa.

International tourist arrivals to South Africa have been in decline for the first seven months of 2019, according to Statistics SA and the launch of e-visas will make the application process easier, hopefully encouraging more tourists to visit South Africa.

‘This effectively removes a massive tourism obstacle. As an industry we need to eliminate as many barriers to inbound tourism as we can in order to grow tourism to South Africa,’ said Frost.

According to the Tourism Blueprint ‘the Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, highlighted that a number of strides had already been made toward simplifying the visa regime.’

One of the steps taken recently includes waiving the need for visas for travellers from New Zealand, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Ghana and São Tomé and Principe.

Image: Unsplash

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