Home Affairs Minister Pakishe Motsoaledi held a briefing on Sunday to provide updates on festive season port entry, the pilot e-visa programme and visa waivers.
READ: New Zealand visa shake-up continues with new NZeTA form for travellers
One big update was that the North African country Tunisia has been granted visa-free access to South Africa, which in return has also given South African citizens visa-free access to their country. The implementation date of this agreement is still be decided by both countries.
"South Africa now has 83 countries which it has granted visa-free status to. These countries are among the highest tourist sending nations globally," said Motsoaledi at the briefing.
SEE: SA visa reform kicks in as New Zealand and 6 other countries given free entry
e-Visa pilot update
The minister also gave an update on the pilot e-visa programme, currently being tested with Kenya which the department visited earlier in the year and will return on 9 December.
The first Kenyan tourist who applied for the visitors’ visa on the new e-Visa system arrived on Saturday and more are expected this week as part of the pilot. China and India will be included in the pilot in 2020, which will run until March.
READ MORE: e-Visa pilot to start ahead of Festive Season, making travel easier to SA
Increased capacity for ports of entry
Capacity at ports will be increased over the festive season from 4 December 2019 to 13 January 2020 and operating hours will be increased between one and seven hours. Some ports like Lebombo and Oshoek will be open for 24 hours on certain days, and 400 additional home affairs officials and 80 more police officials will be deployed at busy ports. SARS is also increasing their capacity with 86 people.
'We implore all travellers leaving and entering South Africa to ensure all their travel documents are in order to avoid unnecessary delays at ports. These include passports, visas, health certificates, permits for specified goods, plants and animals and vehicle insurance and bank-authorised cross-border documents for vehicles."
READ: The worst dates to hit the road this December holiday
You can see the full schedule below:
Compiled by Gabi Zietsman.
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