South Africa waivers visas for four countries to boost its economy

By Leah Netabai

This week, South African Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi granted visa-free status during his Budget Vote speech to four new countries.

“As from today, 15 August 2019, travellers from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand will no longer require a visa to visit South Africa for holidays, conferencing and business meeting visits. 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,” says Minister Motsoaledi.

South Africa has already waivered visas for 82 of the 193 countries that are members of the United Nations. The announcement of four more comes as part of a continued effort by the Department of Home Affairs to boost the economy after seeing a 3.2% decline in GDP for the first quarter of 2019, facilitate job creation and secure its borders.

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“The Department of Home Affairs has an important contribution to make in growing tourism and by extension growing the economy and creating jobs. 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,” says Motsoaledi.

His Excellency Mahash Saeed Alhameli, has spoken on the visa waiver for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) “I would like extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the esteemed South African Department of Home Affairs which allowed the Visa waiver for UAE nationals visiting South Africa”.

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