The Department of Home Affairs will enter into talks with their counterparts in a number of countries to allow visa-free access for South African travellers.
On Wednesday (10 July), the department announced that it had reached an agreement with seven countries to allow their citizens to enter the country visa-free.
These countries include:
- United Arab Emirates;
- New Zealand;
- Saudi Arabia;
- Sao Tome and Principe.
According to the latest Henley Passport Index, South Africans can visit 99 countries around the globe visa-free.
While countries such as Qatar and Ghana already have visa-free or visa on arrival agreements with South Africa, it would be considered a serious boon if South Africans could travel visa-free to countries such as the UAE and New Zealand.
Speaking to BusinessTech, department spokesperson Siya Qoza said that Home Affairs was currently in talks with these countries on two main issues.
“We have entered negotiations with these countries with the first priority being an implementation date for visa-free access to South Africa.
“Once this has been confirmed, our second priority is reciprocity.”
Qoza said that initial conversations held with these countries have been positive, with talks expected to be concluded by September.
He added that Home Affairs may expand these negotiations to other countries.
“We are consistently looking at which countries would be of a trade and tourism benefit to South Africa,” he said.