New Zealand, SA in visa tit for tat
Source: – Star, 14/12/2016
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba
Johannesburg - Travellers from New Zealand will, from January 16, need
a visa to enter South Africa, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said
The announcement followed that of the New Zealand High Commission that
South Africans would need visas to enter that country.
“We have taken the upcoming festive season into consideration, and so
I have decided to implement visa requirements for New Zealand passport
holders only with effect from January,” he said.
“New Zealand introduced visa requirements for all South African
nationals wishing to travel there with effect from November 21.”
Gigaba said the New Zealand government attributed certain factors
which led to the decision to withdraw the visa waiver
Among them was that South Africans exploited the arrangement and
visited family and friends instead of travelling for tourism or
He said New Zealand authorities also mentioned that a number of
travellers had been refused entry due to counterfeit or fraudulently
obtained South African passports.
South Africa had, for some time now, adopted a visa policy based on
the principle of reciprocity. “Therefore, in view of the
aforementioned, a decision was taken to reciprocate by withdrawing the
visa exemption which New Zealand passport holders enjoy,” Gigaba said.
New Zealand diplomatic, official and ordinary passport holders
arriving at a South African port of entry without a visa after January
16 would not be allowed entry, Gigaba stressed, saying travellers
should contact the department’s website to apply.
“This will allow them to acquaint themselves with the supporting
documents needed to accompany a visa application before visiting the
South African High Commission in Wellington.”
Gigaba said the fee applicable to an application for a New Zealand
visa was almost four times the amount South Africa required as
payment. “I decided not to reciprocate on that matter.”
He said South Africa’s visa fees were the lowest in the world, and had
for the past 14 years remained at R425 for most of the categories and
R1 520 for permits and work, business and corporate visas.
He said the department would, in due course, increase its fees to
align with inflation.
Gigaba said the country’s policy was never to deter foreign visitors
or to reduce the flow of tourists, businesspeople and other
“Immigration, particularly for development, is high on our agenda, and
thus the current endeavour is to comprehensively review our
international migration policy.”
He said to that end, South Africa had improved security systems,
including features on passports issued, and the introduction of
biometric capturing at the four main international airports.