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South Africa announces new visa exemptions-YUPP ELECTION COMING UP

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    Nat Quinn

    President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that Kenyans will now be able to enter South Africa visa-free for a period of 90 days.

    The President made the announcement during an Official State Visit to the country on Wednesday (9 November).

    During the visit, several Memoranda of Understanding and agreements were signed between the two countries.

    The President said an agreement was reached on the “thorny issue” during talks.

    “We agreed that indeed Kenyans should be able to visit South Africa without requiring them to have visas… this dispensation will commence on the 1st of January 2023 and that our officials will speed up the processes of putting it into effect,” he said.

    The President explained that the new dispensation will be available to Kenyans for a 90-day period in a year. Meaning Kenyans can use the visa-free entry for 90 days in a year.

    “We will be able to review this and get reports from our ministers within the year and see how this is functioning.

    “This will also be underpinned by other processes that we have agreed should take place. [That is] close monitoring of the implementation of this process and also be able to have a return policy of those…elements that would be undesirable to be able to be returned to Kenya,” he said.

    President Ramaphosa said the move will strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

    “More importantly [the agreement strengthens] the people-to-people contact. Kenyans and South Africans have multiplicities of relations both business, social, communal and at relative level. They want to be able to travel, and tourism between our two countries will be greatly enhanced through this,” he said.

    During talks, the two countries also signed agreements and Memoranda of Understanding in the areas of correctional and prison services, housing and human settlements, arts and culture and schools of government.

    “We are committed to ensuring that the agreements and Memoranda of Understanding that we have signed now and in the past will be implemented fully,” he said.

    Visa-free countries

    Responding to a written parliamentary Q&A this month, Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi said that the list of countries that are able to enter South Africa visa-free has been largely unchanged since 1992 when most of the visa agreements were already concluded.

    He said that the department hasn’t conducted any further research into the countries and how this impacts tourism, nor are there plans to introduce a visa-on-arrival system for South Africa.

    South Africa allows visa-free travel on different passport types, including diplomatic, official, service, ordinary and special passports.

    There are currently 102 countries that can enter South Africa without a visa on an ordinary passport. With the addition of Kenya, from 1 January 2023 the list will grow to 103.

    The document below lists all the countries that are able to come to South Africa without a visa:

    On the opposite side of the travel equation, the Henley & Partners global mobility index for 2022 shows that South Africans can travel to 105 countries visa-free.

    Below are the 105 countries South Africans can travel to visa-free according to the latest Henley & Partners report.

    * Indicates visa on arrival or eTA.


    Angola Lesotho Seychelles*
    Benin Madagascar* Sierra Leone*
    Botswana Malawi Somalia*
    Burundi Mauritania* St. Helena*
    Cape Verde Islands* Mauritius Swaziland (eSwatini)
    Comores Islands* Mozambique Tanzania
    Ethiopia* Namibia Togo*
    Gabon Nigeria Tunisia
    Ghana* Reunion Uganda*
    Guinea-Bissau* Rwanda* Zambia
    Kenya Senegal Zimbabwe


    Cambodia* Malaysia South Korea
    Hong Kong (SAR China) Maldives* Sri Lanka*
    Indonesia Nepal* Tajikistan*
    Kyrgyzstan* Pakistan* Thailand
    Laos* Phillipines Timor-Leste*
    Macao (SAR China) Singapore


    Georgia Russian Federation Kosovo


    Cook Islands Micronesia Samoa*
    Fiji Niue Tuvalu*
    Marshall Islands* Palau Islands* Vanuatu

    Middle East 

    Armenia* Jordan* Qatar
    Iran* Oman Israel
    Palestinian Territories


    Antigua and Barbuda Dominican Republic St. Lucia
    Bahamas Grenada St. Vincent and the Grenadines
    Barbados Haiti Trinidad and Tobago
    British Virgin Islands Jamaica Turks and Caicos
    Cayman Islands Montserrat
    Dominica St. Kitts and Nevis


    Argentina Ecuador Nicaragua
    Belize El Salvador Panama
    Bolivia* Falkland Islands Paraguay
    Brazil Guatemala Peru
    Chile Guyana Uruguay
    Costa Rica Honduras Venezuela
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