SA Minister Gigaba on Visas

From the dddress by Home Affairs Minister, Hon. Malusi Gigaba on the occasion of the breakfast briefing to the Cape Town Press Club, Cape Town.

Following the announcement last month that we now have 25 visa applications centres in nine high-volume tourism markets around the world, we have successfully launched five additional centres in China. We now have established centres in Wuhan, Xi'an, Shenyang, Hangzhou and Jinan. This brings to nine, the total number of visa facilitation centres in China, marking South Africa as the second highest footprint after Britain and the highest among the BRICS partners.

This poses a challenge to all of us to begin the real work of promoting South Africa as a prime tourist destination despite various positions we adopted when we introduced the immigration regulations. The onus is on all of us to strive towards creating an environment conducive for our economy to thrive amidst this difficult global outlook whilst balancing our security imperatives.

Recently, we have seen an increase in application volumes from China and therefore believe that these new visa application centres will help us to cater to the growing demand while making application processes easier for applicants.

When we met with you last year, we announced a 10-year multiple entry visa for our BRICS partners. Similarly, earlier this year, I approved the granting of 10-year multiple entry visas to business and academics from Africa. We will, this year, dedicate our energies to concluding bilateral agreements with our sister countries in the continent on issues related to easing of travel. South Africa is open to business and thus, our point of departure is premised on the notion that our African partners are pivotal to our economic development.

Issued by: Department of Home Affairs