New Zealanders will be able to visit South Africa without a visa following a review of the country’s entry requirements.
South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, announced on Wednesday that the country has granted visa-free status to seven more countries, including New Zealand.
House of Travel commercial director Brent Thomas said the move is “great news for Kiwi travellers”.
“Obtaining a visa to South Africa for a New Zealand passport holder was once difficult and time consuming, so this amendment will definitely remove the hassle and cost for travellers.”
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He expects more Kiwis to travel to South Africa as a result.
“According to Statistics New Zealand, more than 6000 New Zealand resident arrivals from South Africa were recorded in April 2019. Overall New Zealand passenger numbers have been in decline year-on-year to this country so we expect a lift in 2020 once the entry requirements change from November 2019.”
South Africa introduced visitor visas for New Zealanders in January 2017, ending a 20-year visa-free travel arrangement between the two countries.
Seventy-five United Nations member countries already have visa-free acess to South Africa. The other new additions are Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe.
“Tourism will soar if we relax visa requirements for entry into South Africa,” Motsoaledi said.
The Home Affairs Department will “immediately enter into discussions” with the additional countries granted visa-free status about how the new regime will work, he added.
South African visitors to New Zealand have required visitor visas since November 2016.