South Africa plans to introduce electronic visas in a bid to massively increase the traffic of tourists to the country, to boost the economy, and reduce unemployment and inequality.
This was confirmed by minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who said that the e-visas will form part of the R500 billion public and private partnership initiatives announced by resident Cyril Ramaphosa during his state of the nation address, reports the Cape Argus.
The promise of e-visas was first officially unveiled in a March 2018 parliamentary Q & A session – making it easier for tourists to enter into the country thanks to the online capture of visa and permit applications and capturing of applicants’ biometrics both locally and abroad.
The Department of Home Affairs has since confirmed that the first phase of the e-visa system will be piloted by the 31 March 2019.
It has further indicated that the rollout of phase one of the e-visa system will be at a foreign mission, embassy or local home affairs office yet to be determined, with the pilot phase initially covering temporary residence visas, adjudication of temporary residence visas, applications for waivers, applicant notifications and biometric details, it said.