Enoch Godongwana, South Africa's finance minister, has announced that the country's new e-visa system will go live in 2022. In his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement on Thursday, November 11th, he stated that the now-completed system will be rolled out to 15 countries by March 2022, providing much-needed assistance to the tourism sector.
More e-visas are expected to benefit both tourists and the local economy because the system significantly reduces the amount of administrative time and requirements required for visitors to enter South Africa.
The entire e-visa application process takes around 20 minutes if the applicant has all of the necessary supporting documents ready to submit.
If one of the required documents is missing, applicants can pick up where they left off at a later date.
The Department of Home Affairs has previously stated that the e-visa system and service will be available to visitors from China, India, Nigeria, Kenya, and ten other countries.
The full list of countries which could receive e-visas, subject to approval, includes:
- Saudi Arabia
While major travel restrictions have been lifted in most parts of the world, travellers to and from South Africa still face a number of challenges.
According to a mapping tool developed by the travel website Skyscanner, as of 11 November, South Africa has 58'major restrictions' in place from other countries. These countries have suspended travel, may be closed to entry, or may only allow entry if you are a citizen or meet strict entry requirements.
In comparison, South Africa currently has 39 moderate restrictions in place, making travel possible but only if travellers meet certain entry requirements, which can include taking Covid-19 tests.
Countries that do allow travel for leisure and tourism purposes, like South Africa, do not do so unconditionally and will require travellers to either submit recent negative Covid-19 tests or be subject to a mandatory quarantine period.