We want the UK to give South Africans visa-free access: minister

 ·9 Oct 2019

South Africans should be given visa-free access to the UK after tightening up security around its passport, says Home Affairs minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

In an interview with 702, Motsoaledi said that while South African citizens were previously allowed to enter the UK visa-free, this access was revoked after a number of fraudulent incidents.

“Unfortunately something happened some years back where other nationals forged our passports,” he said.

“Since that time we have improved (South Africa’s passport’s security) and we think the UK must now reconsider allowing visa-free access.”

Motsoaledi added that the department of home affairs is working with a number of foreign governments to allow for visa-free access but this does not guarantee reciprocal access for South Africans.

He said that this reciprocity was dependent on a number of factors and was not a ‘straight-line equation’.

“There are a number of considerations when giving a visa. Firstly you consider the sovereignty and security of the (applicant’s) country. Secondly, you consider the developmental needs of your own country.

“Lastly you have to consider the stability and security of people within your own country. You might find that you need people from a country but they don’t need you – you can then insist on reciprocation.”

“We did not consider reciprocity when we took the decision about Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They on their own are considering reciprocating.”

Read: South Africa’s new e-visa system is launching in November – here’s what you need to know

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