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SA reciprocates: Visa-free travel for UK officials over
September 25, 2014, 11:11 am


The South African government will implement visas for British diplomats and officials to enter the country as the dialogue to lift UK visa restrictions for South African citizens and officials lies dormant.

The decision was conveyed by the South African Department of International Relations on Thursday as “reciprocal”.

“As from the first of September 2014, the department began implementation of visa requirements to British Diplomatic and Official Passport-holders. This was done as a reciprocal measure to the British implementing a visa requirement to South African diplomatic, official and ordinary passport holders,” said an emailed statement from the Department of Home Affairs on Thursday.

“Holders of ordinary passports not affected,” clarified Clayson Monyela, official spokesperson of the Ministry on Thursday.

South Africa’s diplomatic and official passport holders also have to apply for UK visas. In 2009, the British government had revoked South Africa’s visa free status, citing concerns about the alleged ease with which foreigners could obtain South African passports and corrupt home affairs officials. South Africans are now charged R1,180 (£80) for visas.

South African officials have said there has been “no movement” after several rounds of talks on lifting visa requirements for South Africans.

“The department, and government at large, has attempted, over the years, to persuade British authorities to review their visa requirements. At our end, we will continue to engage with our British counterparts to change their stance on this matter,” the South African Department of Home Affairs added on Thursday.

The move also comes against the backdrop of the UK government’s decision to halt development aid to South Africa from 2015.

The UK’s bilateral programme in South Africa, currently worth £19 million per year will focus on finishing projects that are already underway, a statement by UK’s department for international development said in April last year.

“I have agreed with my South African counterparts that South Africa is now in a position to fund its own development. It is right that our relationship changes to one of mutual cooperation and trade,” said UK’s International Development Secretary Justine Greening earlier.

The South African Department of International Relations had warned, “This unilateral announcement no doubt will affect how our bilateral relations going forward will be conducted.”

Britain announced the termination of a similar aid programme to India in 2012.



One Response to SA reciprocates: Visa-free travel for UK officials over

  1. Neeraj Williams Reply

    January 23, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I love british

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