The South African government is working at scrapping off visa requirement for African citizens, reports News24Wire.
South Africa hopes to start allowing Africans to enter the country without Visa, in efforts towards that, the government will allow ‘trusted travellers’ likes diplomats, officials, academics, business people and students to benefit at first.
The country is working on measures to take towards achieving visa free entry for Africans outlined in the latest White Paper on International Migration presented by South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs and adopted by the country’s cabinet six weeks ago.
According to the White Paper, South Africa “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”.
South Africa is keen on the African Union’s agenda 2063 that calls for a visa free Africa by the year 2018. AU is pushing for a more integrated Africa that will allow easy movement of people and goods to facilitate trade and development.
“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,” reads the White Paper according to the report.
The White paper states that African citizens can enter South Africa visa-free where there are reciprocal agreements. It cautions on the free entry and calls for a security based approach, calling for visa on foreign nationals overstaying, security risks like organized crime, terrorism and political instability, civil registration risks.
Those to qualify for the visa free travel would for those visiting the country for up to 90 days and those with visas for third parties such as regional visas.
The White paper has not been made public and South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize is expected to announce details on the new immigration dispensation in her budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday.