South Africa ready to grant Ghanaians visa-free entry

South Africa announced entry free from visa requirements for Ghanaians and citizens of six other countries in July 2019, but the waiver is yet to be implemented

The South African high commissioner to Ghana, Lulu Xingwana, says South Africa is now ready to give Ghanaians visa-free entry.

Xingwana has expressed optimism that the visa-free entry regime will increase trade, investment and tourism opportunities for both countries.

She said the offer to grant visa-free access to Ghanaians has been on the table for more than a year now.

Currently, the citizens of 46 countries are permitted to enter South Africa without a visa.

Xingwana said the South African government has plans to include Ghana and six other nations on its visa-free list. 

Delays from Ghana?

Although South Africa is ready to offer visa-free access to Ghanaians, the Government of Ghana is yet to respond to the offer, the high commissioner said.

“South Africa has been ready for more than a year to give Ghanaians visa-free entry into the country,” Xingwana declared.

She added: “Other countries have responded positively and now we have implemented visa-free for those countries. We are waiting for Ghana’s response.”

South African nationals are already exempt from visa requirements for visits to Ghana of 90 days or less.

Earlier, Xingwana said that the other six countries named alongside Ghana for visa waivers by the South African Home Affairs Minister had all started implementing visa-free entry since November 1 2019.

Apart from Ghana, the other countries benefiting from the waiver are Cuba, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, São Tomé e Príncipe and the United Arab Emirates.

EU doors still shut

Meanwhile, the European Union has excluded Ghana from its list of countries whose citizens have been allowed back into its member nations following the reopening of EU borders.

EU member states reopened their borders to travellers from 15 countries on 1 July 2020 following a three-month, coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

However, Brazil, Ghana, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia and the United States are among those still barred from entering any of the 27 member states of the EU.

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