With the State of the Nation Address come and gone, tourism industry leaders were pleased to hear that South Africa would soon implement a streamlined eVisa system.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2022 saw the announcement that the country would soon be streamlining and modernising its visa application process to make travel to South Africa for tourism and business a lot easier.
Travel News reported that the introduction of the eVisa system was something that both the Hospitality association, FEDHASA, and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) expressed their wish for ahead of SONA.
Tourism Industry heads encouraged by news of eVisa system
Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO of the TBCSA said that the eVisa system needs to be implemented as soon as possible.
“There are clear signs of tourism recovery but we need to look at how do we fast-track that recovery? And enable tourists – from Africa and the rest of the world – to get here in the most cost-effective, efficient way possible.”
While Rosemary Anderson, FEDHASA National Chairperson said:
“We were heartened to hear the reference to eVisas and that consideration is being given to remote working visas as we have been engaging with Government on both issues for some time. The harder we make it for travellers to come to South Africa, the fewer travellers will come. We must consider how visa waivers and extensions, and special visas such as those for remote workers, can enable tourism while still supporting national security.”
Anderson also stated that while a website had indeed been set up for the issuing of eVisas, the current system was not yet fully automated and did not fulfil the criteria for a world-class eVisa.
“You still need to visit your embassy for the visa to be issued and the system seems to be offline currently, with mention on the site that it will only go live from next month,” she said.