The Department of Home Affairs says the country’ s new eVisa system will launch in November 2019 , and it has added new nations to the list of countries that can enter South Africa visa- free.

According to a report by Business Tech and tweeted via the unverified Twitter handle of Home Affairs @ HomeAffairsSA on Wednesday , seven new countries can now visit South Africa visa – free.

The report quoted the South African Minister of Home Affairs , Aaron Motsoaledi , as having announced that seven new countries will be added to the list of nations that are able to come to South Africa without a visa.

“ Tourism will soar if we relax visa requirements for entry into South Africa . We know that tourism is very important for job creation , ” he said .

“ Out of the 193 countries who are member states of the United Nations , the Department has granted visa – free status to 75 countries . Of these, 16 are in our continent and are SADC ( Southern African Development Community) members and 59 are from all over the world . ”

The department announced that the following countries will now be able to enter the country, visa- free:
Qatar , United Arab Emirates, New Zealand , Saudi Arabia , Cuba,
Ghana , Sao Tome and Principle.

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The minister said his office will immediately enter into discussions with the countries about how a visa-free regime will work, with “ homework” still needing to be done for countries like China , India and Nigeria .

“ While we are busy tackling the matter of the three countries , we shall , this financial year , increase two and a half times the number of people who work for Home Affairs to process visas in both China and India.

“ We shall double the number of people who process visas to our country in Nigeria , ” he said .

A department spokesperson said that the countries announced by the minister only apply to inbound visas ( citizens from the listed countries visiting South Africa ), and that outbound visas (South Africans visiting the countries listed) need to be negotiated on a country- by – country basis.

The department noted that some countries , such as Qatar and Ghana , already have visa- free or visa on arrival agreements with South Africa .

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According to the latest Henley Passport Index , South Africans can visit 99 countries around the globe visa- free.

Also speaking at the department ’ s budget vote , deputy minister of Home Affairs , Njabulo Nzuza said that the department is moving forward with the implementation of the country’ s e -Visa regime .

“ This regime will place technology at the centre of our operations by making it easy , yet secure, to enter South Africa , ” he told Business Tech .

The e – Visa system will allow tourists and visitors to South African apply for their visas online. These applications will then be sent to a central adjudication and approval office , while the prospective visitors “ sit at the comfort of their own home . ”

The new system will also open South Africa as a desirable destination through the ease of its visa systems, the deputy minister said , adding that it will have huge tourism growth implications for the country .

The e – Visa regime is anticipated to be fully introduced in November 2019 .

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