UK tourist visas may be bad move - expert
Fin24

UK tourist visas may be bad move - expert

2013-05-21 09:34

Johannesburg - Requiring British tourists to obtain visas to visit South Africa could negatively affect the country's economy, Beeld reported on Tuesday.

It would be "short-sighted", as Britain was South Africa's largest tourist market, Pretoria tourism expert Martin van Niekerk told the newspaper.

Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor reportedly said in Parliament last week that, with Britain seemingly reluctant to lift the visa requirements for South Africans which were instituted amid the forgery of passports four years ago, this country might "consider reciprocity".

"We (South Africa) have to be seen as their (Britain's) equal. We have to treat each other like partners," home affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa was quoted as telling the newspaper.

Beeld reported that Prof Sanette Ferreira, of Stellenbosch University's geography and environmental studies department, disagreed with the implementation of a visa system for the wrong reasons.

It could work if it was done for state security reasons, and if an efficient, speedy application system could be put in place, she told the newspaper, but conceded that complex logistics with visa applications would probably deter British visitors.

She also warned that South Africa did not have the capacity to sustain such a system. "We're already struggling to produce ID books," she reportedly said.



Comments
  • Thabo Mophiring - 2013-05-21 09:49

    what a load of tosh "we struggle to produce ids" - when was the last time, said person actually checked. Visas are issued for many countries without hassle, so stop with the misinformation

      megala arxithia - 2013-05-21 10:11

      Thabo- On which planet do you live? Go and apply for a ID and see how long it takes!! I applied for a unabridged birth certificate and it took three months to be issued. And its a one A5 printed page!! God knows why it takes so long to issue a printed page but it speaks volumes about how long it would take to issue visas. The SA government is blaming everybody else except themselves for their pathetic departments. This country is going down the same slippery slope as other failed African nations and instead of doing something to stem this fall into the cesspool, the government chooses to get petty. I applied for a foreign ID card in a European country and it was issued within 24 hours. That is efficiency unlike SA which takes months!!

      Anthony Spruyt - 2013-05-21 10:32

      What planet are you from? 1+ year, a class act lawsuit and R10 000+ was what it took to get my wife her VISA to merely stay here, do not even talk about work VISA... Oh and while we are at it, our marriage registration is now almost 2 years in "process". Incompetence rules in this government.

      Mikey Scholtz - 2013-05-21 10:59

      You must be in a position to get special treatment to make a statement like that because no layman who has any experience with government departments would make a statement like that. Take off your ANC goggles and get a real perspective of how things work, or rather don't work, in this country.

      Oscar Blade - 2013-05-21 11:02

      It took 3-4 days for my European ID to be issued and delivered to the embassy in Johannesburg. On the other had, it took 4 months for my South African ID to show up... No misinformation...just the truth

      Monique Naude - 2013-05-21 11:09

      You must live in a different country to the rest of us... Are you wearing cANCer goggles?

      Richard Scully - 2013-05-21 11:50

      Thabo you must be an ANC boetie because my 9 yeAr old son has waited 8 years for ID of sorts...lucky he is British and has a British passport

      bazza19824 - 2013-05-21 12:24

      I won't be dumb enough to send my U.K passport over to SA without me attached to it. I can see in the future our passport office becoming a mess like SA, with British Citizens queuing for hours because SA have misplaced, sold or forged other people passports. Let alone all my personal details, such as bank statements etc. In the wrong hands criminals will know when I arrive in country, how much I have in my bank account, where I am staying.. Bloody scary thought.

      Reno Finch - 2013-05-21 12:45

      Thabo - come out of your dream land brother. The fact that Brits can simply rock up in this country is one reason why so many of them visit. Try living in the UK on a SA passport and attempt to travel to the EU. It requires weeks of planning, days off work, visits to embassies etc. Having to apply for a visitors visa is a complete nightmare and put in the hands of a South African government with the typical "no clue" and unorganised people that would likely be managing this process, watch tourism numbers drop. It baffles me how stupid and short-sighted this minister could be because what he is suggesting is not tit for tat. The UK government put the visa system in place because SA passports weren't worth the paper they were written on. The UK doesn't have this problem. Plus even if the government has resolved the passport forgery issue, what about the thousands of people that were able to get a forgery with the old passport which is valid for at least 10 years? Plus I'm sure there are plenty of people in home affairs that are willing to provide anybody a new passport for the right money. Once again we have another minister showing just how bloody stupid these people in government are. It is incredible that this country manages to function okay'sh!

      Darren Raath - 2013-05-21 13:24

      banana rebublic reaching maturity. RAND/DOLLAR now at 9.58

      Eric Jansen Van Vuuren - 2013-05-21 13:41

      I agree. This should be a matter of principle. We cannot stay open to someone who closes there boarders to us. Regardless of how we got here. Now all we need is for govt. to start thinking of our international image more often. Or step aside for someone that would be more adept at this type of work

      Ahava Shapiro - 2013-05-21 14:18

      I fully support the reasoning of our Government. The only people that will have an issue are the Oxygen thieves we have living amongst us, that call themselves South Africans, with no patriotic sense at ll.

      Gerald Parker - 2013-05-21 15:51

      Have you ever applied for a foreign VISA. Where do you apply? NOT with the SA Government That is why it is issued without hassle I would call you the completeidiot but I cannot because you have parts missing

      Caravan Moore - 2013-05-21 16:33

      The minister is right. I am speaking from an African point of view and also a UK resident who have lived in the UK for many many years now. I am not happy with the way immigration has evolved across in the UK. There is a bad tone around for non Europeans when they come into the UK and it does not matter whether you are coming for business or just visit . Immigration POLICIES have moved towards racism to non Europeans. To a European mind a multi millionaire Black South African is worse than a European with no money...no wonder the UK is getting poorer and poorer. Even in business we are not treated fairly , distribution of business opportunities and business support highly favour the natives than foreign born its even worse when you are black.Racism is still well and alive in the UK and its VISIBLE in the immigration polices that should not affect business people in South Africa one of the biggest trading partner. Back to the immigration point:Whilst black Africans and other dark skinned species are considered aliens who break the rules , statistics will tell us a different story The highest number of illegal immigrants are Americans at over a million of them in the UK , they don't pay tax too and they refuse to. Australians follow the illegal packing order and other white minority groups. If you are black..each time you arrive from holidays you are stopped at the border whilst everyone pass through.....Your red passport means nothing...IT SUCKS!!!!!!!!

      CommonSense - 2013-05-21 16:52

      @Caravan - 1 million illegal US citizens in the UK? I don't think so. Aussies next, highly doubtful. I think you need to do your research a bit bitter or at least provide some links to these stats. Why would so many Aussies and US citizens want to enter the UK illegally when their own countries have got far more to offer them? Also the reason why black people are treated differently is because historically they cause the most problems. And I think you will find that Eastern Europeans are also getting the harsh treatment at the moment in the UK. I think you have some homework to do buddy.

      Bullet Proof - 2013-05-21 17:07

      Another arrogant anc stuff up on the way. More bribes, mare cadre deployment, more lining of anc pockets. This country is no longer a circus but a circus joke.

      CliveK - 2013-05-21 18:26

      Thabo, we all know why the UK suddenly demanded visas from SA passport holders: incompetence, fraud and corruption in Home Affairs, leading to a glut of fraudulent/counterfeit passports. I am sure that if Home Affairs ever sorts this out - don't hold your breath, folks - the UK (and other countries) will drop this requirement pretty smartly.

      Caravan Moore - 2013-05-21 18:55

      @CommonSense...well should i argue with you something that is known to political and civil circles UK-wide and they fail to do something about it.....No. I worked for the immigration department 2007-2009...and yes Americans break the immigration laws more than anyone else. I think you are failing to get the point here: If someone apply for a work visa for 1 year or 2 yr working holiday like the Aussies and then stay in the country and work 5 years that is illegal immigration. The Americans are very arrogant...they come on a visitors visa and work for many years and contrary to what you think that america is all goodie goodies the country has its own problems just like RSA or Greece..and people have their own reason to overstay . I hope I am clear there. Now let me address the issue on the article: The UK government did not stop free travel of South Africans because of forgery of passports. Yes its one problem the UK government was having but if we check the numbers of people who came using RSA forged passports they are not many. There are many many times the number of RSA citizens who came and disappeared in the last 10 years. Black and white no forgery. The message was clear from the UK that RSA SHOULD SORT out its own problems and we don't want to see people running away the way they did. -Problems of the economy not going anywhere. -Problems of increased corruption. -Problems of lack of reforms and unfair inequalities... After that...we can be partners.

      Caravan Moore - 2013-05-21 19:24

      @CommonSense...common sense seems to be a very very Mr uncommon sense... Africans have problems with the racist police officers from England only...if you go else where in the UK the treatment isn't the same. THE same applies to the EU you have mentioned...they only get racial bashing in England and Northern Ireland...in Scotland they are well treated. You might think you are white south African and you are spared...far from it buddy..in some places I am treated better than you..with your unEnglish English accent...you wont be spared.

      Siegfriedt Eckert - 2013-05-21 21:34

      Thabo, we have been trying to get my daughter registered as a South African for nine years. After more than a dozen visits to Home Affairs this year alone, last week they tell us they cannot find the file. It is always the same excuse documents lost, fill in more forms and nothing happens. What a Circus.

      patrick.starkey1 - 2013-05-22 12:46

      I'm a white African on a UK visa. I can tell you I am well and truly grilled from time to time when I enter the UK, Canada or anywhere in Europe. I don't like it at all ! I see many other Caucasians along with the dark skinned people getting just as harsh an interrogation as I get. I don't think its racism, just fear of not doing the job properly or perhaps, simply being professional, a scarce commodity these days. As for the American illegals in Britain, there are maybe a few hundred. Not sure where you get your figures/information from. The total illegals from all countries residing in the UK is estimated at about 500'000. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4637273.stm As with us in Jo'burg, it's a difficult number to establish as they do not stick their hands up to be counted. From what I can see, across the world people are pulling up the draw bridges. I don't think it's wise to take it personally & start making it difficult for our biggest customers to visit us. God knows, we need the revenue.

      Patrick Starkey - 2013-05-22 12:53

      Also Caravan, you have the choice to come & rejoin us on the dark continent & not subject yourself to a situation you do not like. Or is the madness even worse ?

      Sipho Mathabula - 2013-05-22 20:10

      Why do the British want to support this TERRORIST state anyway? Why do they not boycott this country and drive the ANC from power just like the west got rid of the NATS. Any Time Bombs Are Used to Target Civilians It Is an Act of Terror’ BARACK OBAMA's comments after the Boston bombings, I request all South Africans to email the US embassy and tell them Barck Obama should not visit this TERRORIST State South Africa, because he himself said and I quote: ‘Any Time Bombs Are Used to Target Civilians It Is an Act of Terror’ so why then was it acceptable for the ANC who bombed innocent civilians in the 1980's and killed many innocent civilians. Therefore by his own definition the ANC is a terrorist organisation as Ronald Reagen and Maggie Thatcher had labelled them at the time. But is okay to have double standards when it suits you . HEY MR OBAMA. The USA is supporting terrorism by doing business here in South Africa hell we even have alchaeda training camps yet Barack is still coming, what the F...........

      sam.e.scapes - 2014-07-20 19:16

      My sons recently had their ID's done. We had to travel to another town to have it done. We were supposed to be notified by SMS after to let us know they were processing it. Not done. We supposed to be notified by SMS when they were ready. Not done either. Phoning was a joke as no call got answered. It took getting hold of someone in a different department to go look only to tell us they had been there for ages. Plus I eas disgusted as the photos and the plastic film applied were amateurish compared to my id. It actually looked like a home job.

      sam.e.scapes - 2014-07-20 19:17

      The photos looked like they had been cut by a four year old.

  • Anthony Spruyt - 2013-05-21 09:49

    "We (South Africa) have to be seen as their (Britain's) equal." LOL

      Tina Poole - 2013-05-21 10:01

      Equal? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah.

      Babesia Bovis - 2013-05-21 11:54

      To be seen as equal, we have to act as if we could be equal

      Jane Randall - 2013-05-21 15:32

      HDI ranking UK 26 SA 121 http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries/ Corruption/transparency ranking UK 17 SA 69 http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2012/results/ GDP per capita UK 22 SA 79 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita I could go on but equal to UK really?

  • Muffin_man_can - 2013-05-21 09:50

    Every person with half a brain knows this. We wan't the pounds coming in, british tourists spend alot of money here.

      regte.boer - 2013-05-21 12:02

      That is just the point. These ANC bottom feeders do not even have half a brain.

  • Shirley Stee - 2013-05-21 09:51

    South Africas tit for tat motions are more and more like Zm. They should grow up and see the bigger picture and future of this country!They have already chased foreign investors away with all the violent strikes and now they want to damage our tourism!

  • Dan Gleebits - 2013-05-21 09:53

    Mamoepa : "We (South Africa) have to be seen as their (Britain's) equal. We have to treat each other like partners." Fair enough Ronnie, but what if one "partner" doesn't even have the ability to control foreign aliens landing at a major Military Airbase, let alone deal with fraud in its ID and Passport system? At least we can be certain that a UK passport is 99.9% likely to be genuine. The reason why the UK requires visas is because of ANC government incompetence to get a grip on the situation. Sort it out - you may find that the visa requirement will be removed...

  • Vinny Max - 2013-05-21 09:54

    Slave mentality still dominates. The British need us more than we need them. They come here to enjoy our sunshine and the beautiful country, getting away from their dreary dark rainy Britain. Actually it is not a bad idea to impose visas and also charge a hefty fee so that we can compensate for the destruction of the environment caused by all this tourism.

      Vannessa Jooste - 2013-05-21 10:01

      We need them more, I'm afraid. We are not the only sunny country in the world, and therefore really have no leverage in the matter. Let's face facts: Tourism is the life blood of this country. We should be encouraging visitors, not deter them.

      megala arxithia - 2013-05-21 10:08

      Vinny- Get a job, save some money and then go to London and see for yourself how cheap it is to fly from that city to exotic destinations that are two to three hours away like the Canary Islands, Ibiza, the Greek Islands, Morocco, Croatia, Turkey. It costs them as little as 20 pounds to fly to a warm country and with no visa required. So don't delude yourself into thinking that the Brits want to fly eleven hours to come to a country that does not want them here and is filled with violent crime. Most British 'tourists' are expats returning to visit their family and SA is nowhere near as popular as other countries who are closer, warmer, cheaper and friendlier! Over 10 million Brits go on overseas holidays every year and only 150 000 come here, if that. So where do the other 98.5 % go if they 'need us more than we need them'. Catch a wake up!!

      JamesMWood - 2013-05-21 10:48

      Vanessa, not entirely true, visa will not deter if you take into consideration the fact that the majority of travellers from EU are more than able to afford! If they can afford KNP when we can't they sure can afford to fork out a hundred quid quite easily!

      Mikey Scholtz - 2013-05-21 11:06

      Well done Vinny, you win the Mampara of the month award. "They need us" - why? We are a long haul destination with expensive flights. There are plenty of far more accessible countries that offer sunshine, beaches and beauty. As for your last statement regarding the environmental destruction caused by tourism; did you get dropped as a baby? Tourism is the one reason why so many of our environmentally sensitive areas are protected, without the income generated for and by these areas through tourism they would have been desecrated years ago.

      Callum Clarke - 2013-05-21 11:19

      Get out of cocoo land.

      Dan Gleebits - 2013-05-21 11:46

      Vinny - just a quick reality check: Long haul London to Cape Town direct return in December '13(SA summer) for two weeks: Cheapest direct flight £939 (@ R14 to £1 - thanks ANC) approx. R13 140. 11.5 hours in the air. London to Pisa (August holiday peak time, random choice, but quick trains to incredible Italian coastline plus historical towns/cities) £184 : R 2 580. 2.05 hours in the air. If I were in the UK, I know which holiday I'd be taking...

      Richard Scully - 2013-05-21 13:15

      Oh Vinny you talk ..,.well ....other stuff...please... The UK doesn't need SA, not for anything

      Freddie Miller - 2013-05-21 14:49

      What a dilusional fool you are. The British tourists will simply go to Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, Caribbean etc. All are sunny, welcoming... and visa free to EU citizens. They do not "Need" us at all you moron.

  • Stephen Brookes - 2013-05-21 09:58

    Here comes an ego based decision which will be detrimental to the country because the people making these decisions are complete fools.

      Papapipo Mzapi - 2013-05-21 10:31

      instead of calling people fools what would you suggest

      Dan Gleebits - 2013-05-21 10:48

      Papapipo - perhaps a start would be getting a government and department actually capable of delivering a secure ID and passport system? Just a thought...

      Mikey Scholtz - 2013-05-21 11:10

      Papapipo - I would suggest that the government stops wasting/stealing billions of Rand and starts promoting our country properly to international tourists that have so much to offer our country in terms of influx of foreign currency, job creation and economic growth.

      Richard Scully - 2013-05-21 13:16

      Well PAPAPIPO how's about no visa? That's a good suggestion

  • James Vandermerwe - 2013-05-21 09:59

    Last time I did a British visa in Cape Town, I was number 140 for the day, and it was 10h00. So lets asume 200 out of Cape Town per day: 200 x R850= R170 000 per day. That is R850 000 per week, R3.4mil per month extra in the pocket. Johannesburg is probally twice as much. So why would they lift it. Our passport system is sorted out, and on international standards. I am therefore all for tit for tat. We even pay just as trasit pasanger at Heathrow.

      Vaughan - 2013-05-21 10:28

      At the end of the day, the London bus bombers travelled on South African passports. As they say, once bitten twice shy.

      Stefan Labuschagne - 2014-02-27 13:04

      I have to agree. I'm on a working visa here in Italy - which is valid for travelling anywhere in the EU, yet the UK requires that I fly to Rome, pay €130 and produce a sea of documents...

  • Maartins Siphiso - 2013-05-21 10:13

    Visa for British but all other rubbish just walks across the borders, steals, rapes, and murders our citizens, takes the benefits earmarked for SA Citizens. And we must be happy with our current government???? No way, they must go.

      regte.boer - 2013-05-21 12:05

      I agree with you 100%.

  • Zaakir Hoosen - 2013-05-21 10:16

    Well there's two sides to this discussion, because so much of our businesses rely on the tourism industry that needs to be protected. But at the same time, our Govt. also needs to be able to stand on two feet to the Brits in saying that if we need visas so do they. The problem will be as mentioned in the article, efficiency. Just been to the UK Visa centre in Sandton, an they have a brilliant quick system, putting that in place would be priority. The other alternative is to agree a lower visa fee with the British govt for SA applicants. I think we paying just over 1k for an application.

      Freddie Jones - 2013-05-21 11:15

      Zaak, A significant part of the cost problem is our almost worthless currency. To the UK Foreign Office setting the visa fee, R1000 is 'ONLY £70', a perfectly reasonable sum to them. It is not their fault that what was a 10/- Rand is now only worth 7p.

  • Warren Carne - 2013-05-21 10:25

    Short sighted by the SA govt,the UK had a valid argument given the high amount of fraud in Home Affairs, we in this case should seek a diplomatic engagement on the matter. SA tourism needs to realize that Spain,Cyprus and other holiday destinations in Europe are far cheaper and easier to visit than SA as well.

      Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-05-21 11:45

      Walter Mphioe. You obviously have never been to Spain or Cyprus.

  • Phaks Mvelashe - 2013-05-21 10:30

    Ag this ought to be a give and take situation. We can't always put ourselves in the losing position, we'll always fall prey to them. We must require visa if they do too.

      Mikey Scholtz - 2013-05-21 11:15

      Yeah, that makes lots of sense. We spend millions each year trying to attract people to the country and now we must make it more difficult for them to visit our country. Add the visa costs to some of the highest airline prices in the world and what you get is less tourists. Less tourists = less jobs = slow down in economic growth = more poor people. Just a thought, but clearly not one that you're having.

      Freddie Jones - 2013-05-21 11:16

      You obviously lack a logical thought process.

  • Toni Falletisch - 2013-05-21 10:36

    We need tit-for-tat. Issue the visas at the airport and make it easy to obtain but charge the Brits the same we have to pay. Hey ... we may even create a few jobs.

  • Tsepo Kolitsoe Pooe-tic Pooe - 2013-05-21 10:38

    ...Theres No Big 5 in Cyprus or Spain...!! So they need us..! Imperialists

      Pat Reade - 2013-05-21 10:57

      Soon no Big 5 in SA either the way things are going

      Mikey Scholtz - 2013-05-21 11:17

      The pseudo revolutionary rhetoric just continues, hey Comrade. This is 2013 not 1970. Wake up and see who is harming our country the most.

      Freddie Jones - 2013-05-21 11:17

      Most tourists don't even go to the Game Parks!

      Freddie Miller - 2013-05-21 14:57

      No they don't "need us" you moron. Kenya, Botswana also have the big 5, but that is not a major drawcard, we are in a global market and should be trying to attract rich tourists, not driving them away.

  • Ruan LaCock - 2013-05-21 10:50

    ...you can buy a GENUINE Sa-passport for around 220 US$ from an official at some of the more busier home-affairs offices. They usually have their contacts gathering around by the Telkom pay-phones.

  • Colleen Erasmus - 2013-05-21 10:54

    I don't blame Britian

  • Cliff Slabbert - 2013-05-21 11:03

    What can you expect from the A N C but stupidity!!!! Talk about shoot yourself in in both feet! If the A N C remember correctly the whole visa fiasco was as a result of fraudulent SA passports for illegal aliens emanating out of Home Affairs.

  • Callum Clarke - 2013-05-21 11:14

    Lol!!!! Backfire

  • Psalm Proverb - 2013-05-21 11:16

    What this idiotic ANC government does not grasp is that the UK acted in good faith in waiving the VISA requirement in the past. The SA government rewarded that good faith by being, as usual, lax in fighting corruption regarding the issuing of SA passports to Islamic terrorists and every other criminal on the planet. Of course the ANC is angry with the British for their stance. The ANC cannot grasp the concept of "good governance" and "protecting and guarding your borders". They, therefore, expect every other nation out there to have zero border and immigration control, like the ANC does. I mean, in the ANC mind, why have borders? This is a Western concept. Allow anyone and anything in and issue ID and passports to every creature out there. As a African, I am so sick and tired of this idiotic, unprincipled, corrupt, thieving, lying, incompetent bunch of clowns called the ANC. I am tired of being ruled by this lunatic party, voted in by what seems to be the lunatic masses. How long must sensible people tolerate the lunatic choices of the masses?

      Gebuza Mathivha - 2013-05-21 14:27

      Only 4000 people vote in this gvt.!!!!!!

      Psalm Proverb - 2013-05-21 15:19

      @ Gebuza, That's not true. While only a few thousand ANC delegates may have voted in the disastrous ANC NEC members, EVERY VOTER WHO VOTED FOR THE ANC DURING ELECTIONS RATIFIED OR SUPPORTED THE DISASTROUS ANC NEC. Every person who voted for the ANC is directly responsible for putting these thieving, corrupt, lunatics into power. These ANC voters are the lunatic masses who continue to support the lunatic ANC.

  • Jason Davidson - 2013-05-21 11:18

    I agree - make those pommies pay!! I'm disabled and want to go to my brothers wedding in Scotland next month - my care workers visa was refused and now I needed to pay 4K to apply for a domestic workers visa for him - still waiting on the outcome. So thats 2.2K for our initial application, then 1.2K to go through 1st contact, then another 4K - Thats 7.4K and I dont even know if I will be able to go yet!!

      Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-05-21 11:51

      Jason Davidson, blame those using false South African passports. I hope you get it sorted out.

      Jason Davidson - 2013-05-21 12:15

      for sure, I blame this mixed bag of nuts we call our government - just saying ...

  • Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-05-21 11:40

    We have to be seen as their equals?. Heavens, some people do have big dreams.

  • Exile13 - 2013-05-21 11:43

    hmmmm, last time we were on par with Britain was during apartheid... just saying

  • Mike Muir - 2013-05-21 12:02

    Strange thing is it was easier to get into the UK pre 94 than what it is now post 94, makes you think.

      Richard Scully - 2013-05-21 13:18

      Yes, and if you were 20 odd you could get a travel visa, after ANC they stopes that

  • Cathy De Jongh - 2013-05-21 12:07

    "We (South Africa) have to be seen as their (Britain) equals" Ahem. Jislaaik, ne?

  • Jolene Fourie - 2013-05-21 14:06

    oooh tit for tat. I'm thinking that the UK announcing it will no longer send aid to South Africa also has some part to play in this astute and sagacious decision that is being "made". Living in the UK I doubt I would want to spend extra money for a visa to fly nearly 12 hours on a long haul flight, when a short and far less expensive flight/train across to the rest of Europe will ensure sun, beauty and far less crime.

  • Gebuza Mathivha - 2013-05-21 14:31

    Why do we always miss the point?Only 4000 selected people elect a party leadership to rule 56million people.Makes sense to ganja people only.!!!!

  • Willem de Haan - 2013-05-21 15:03

    ooh, those Brits must be shaking in the pants! They will not be able t0 land at OR TAMBO or see the famous Robben Island or visit Winnie's house in Brandfort or some other shrine to the heroes of the greatest struggle ever unless they qualify for that so desired holy grail - the NEW RSA Visum! I can just see that never ending queue of avid Brits in front of the SA offices, the bribes being passed for that ticket to paradise! Oh, how wonderful to be so highly desired! On the other hand, perhaps they might prefer to go to Spain? Or Thailand? Who knows that perfidious Albion!

  • Stefan Van Der Spuy - 2013-05-21 15:06

    That would such a dumb move. The UK did and does not have a problem with major forgery of passports, SA did. What we should rather do is to request the British authorities to revisit our process of passport issuing, and lift the visa requirement if they are happy that adequate controls are in place to prevent forgery.

  • Gift Mogiftana - 2013-05-21 16:06

    Yep, it's about time the UK stopped with this visa nonsense..

  • Nagm Azar - 2013-05-21 16:47

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that this move will affect our economy badly.....The British is our biggest tourist market people....work a bit harder and smarter on the diplomats....

  • Caulfield Joel - 2013-05-21 18:36

    I don't seem to understand the logic behind those who seem not to agree to implement reciprocal visa policy. Your prorities should place SA first (if you are SA) - why must we be inconvienced to travel to the UK. There are many other counties that UK passport holders require a visa for and we surely will not be the first. The UK is by no means more perfect than SA and should not award them special privilege. I am fortunate to travel frequently and tired of other countries imposing visa restrictions on SA passport holders but its no problem for them to travel to SA. There were problems with the SA passport which have been corrected and the UK assured SA they would consider removing the restriction once all conditions have been met. The withdrawal of the UK funding has a major impact on those organisations it provided to but under no circumstances does this award the UK special travel rights. If any country should be awarded special rights then we would have to consider China considering the support they provide Africa has a whole and they need a visa to travel to SA. As for sun and value for money - the Brits flock to SA year after year and a visa will not change that, just like it never changed for us to travel to the UK when visas were imposed on us! Please justify why it's ok for another country to implement a visa requirement but its not in order for SA to do the same. What I am hearing from some readers is they don't mind paying the exorbitant visa fee. EXPLAIN

      David Carelse - 2013-05-22 11:23

      i support this decision 100%. thats the right thing to do because i was in the UK in 2005 and when i want to go back to the UK in 2009 i need to have a visa and when i applied for a visa although i did have everything from sufficient funds, accoommodation, my paper work was all correct and the british embassy still refuses me a visa. keep going with that. the british embassy treat our south africans as terrorist. please local government and department make also the visa restrictions the same as ours as we apply for their visas. please amke the visa restrictions veri strict to british passport holders. treat them also as terrorist

  • Lina Klumpe - 2013-05-25 04:46

    As a frequent traveller, I agree with visa reciprocity. It costs a lot of time, money and effort for South Africans to get simple tourist visas and people are often not treated with respect. Pathetically pandering to visitors from developed countries while they do what they want with SA travellers is not going to help SA. The income from tourism is not necessarily worth it - tourism in poor countries often creates more problems than it solves and we shouldn't be so desperately dependent on others for income. It's not like foreigners don't also commit crimes in SA, but we still let them in without hassle.

  • Rob Coomber - 2013-05-25 14:39

    Ahava Shapiro must be a little wet behind the ears white guilt inspired youngster who believes the ANC are justifiably incompetent, corrupt and racist. What a waste of her parents money on all that education only to become an ANC drone.

  • Arthur Bollier - 2014-02-27 14:03

    another very intelligent move from a highly efficient department!!!!!

  • Marcia June Scholes - 2014-05-17 14:38

    You in Government can never aspire to be on a level with the UK as far as visa and passports etc are concerned. One can renew a passport in the UK at a post office and it is delivered to your door within days. Here if you post a letter at the post office the chances of it being received by the recipient are unsure.

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