SA moves to scrap visas for African visitors
Publish date: 15 May 2017
Issue Number: 725
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
SA is working towards allowing all African citizens to enter the country without visas – but at first ‘trusted travellers’ such as diplomats, officials, academics, business people and students will be the only ones to benefit, says a News24 report. The Department of Home Affairs outlines the steps that will be taken towards scrapping visa requirements in its latest White Paper on International Migration, which was adopted by Cabinet six weeks ago but has not been made public yet. According to the White Paper, SA ‘fully supports the vision of an Africa where its citizens can move more freely across national borders, where intra-Africa trade is encouraged and there is greater integration and development of the African continent’. It said the current status was untenable. ‘For instance, on average Africans need visas to travel to 55% of other African countries. They can get visas on arrival in only 25% of other countries. Finally, they do not need a visa to travel to just 20% of other countries on the continent.’ But the White Paper, which moves SA’s approach to immigration from a purely administrative one to a security-based approach, warns that the scrapping of visas needs to happen with caution.