IN QUOTES | Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi says visa-free access will help ailing economy

Citizens of 11 countries now welcome without visas

05 October 2020 - 09:38
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the visa-free entry into SA for the citizens of 11 countries does not alter the Covid-19 regulations.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the visa-free entry into SA for the citizens of 11 countries does not alter the Covid-19 regulations.

Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has reinstated visa-free access to SA to the citizens of 11 countries.

On Sunday, Motsoaledi said the move would help SA's ailing economy to recover, and would promote trade to stimulate economic recovery under lockdown level 1.

He said he was aware of the restrictions on airline and maritime crews, and has been told transport minister Fikile Mbalula was resolving the issue.

Here is what Motsoaledi said in five quotes:

Economic and tourism stagnation

“The visa-free status of citizens of some countries and territories was temporarily suspended at the start of the lockdown.

“In line with the commitment by government to take urgent steps to address the economic and tourism stagnation brought about by the outbreak of Covid-19, the visa-free status of citizens from the following countries and territories has been reinstated: South Korea, Spain, Italy, Iran, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, US, UK, France, and Portugal.

“The visa-free status does not alter the current Covid-19 regulations.”

Protocol and guidelines for port managers

“Port managers have been instructed to adhere to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol and guidelines regulating the movement of essential goods under Covid-19 regulations.

“The guidelines regulating truck drivers travelling across the border will continue to apply, as has been the case for the past seven months.”

Confusion over 72-hour negative test

“In view of confusion surrounding the 72-hour negative test requirement, we reiterate that business persons providing services across the borders of SADC are allowed multiple entry, subject to the certificate of a negative Covid-19 test result not older than 72-hours from the time of departure. This certificate is valid for 14 days.

“The minister has instructed officials to communicate this decision to the aviation industry, embassies and other stakeholders as a matter of urgency.”

Clarity on airlines and passengers

“Immigration officers will be required to assess the movement and place of origin of the traveller, and not the country of origin of the airline concerned.”

Travel permit to enter SA

“Any person from a country listed as having a high Covid-19 infection and transmission rate who wishes to undertake business travel into SA, may, in writing, apply to the minister of home affairs and demonstrate reasons for their request to enter the Republic for business purposes during the period of the national state of disaster.”

Applications for travel permits must be sent to Covid19BusinessTravel@dha.gov.za and supported by proof of the business activities to be undertaken.

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