Out of seven countries that South Africa announced that it was granting visa-free status to, Ghana is the only country that is yet to start or have her citizens benefit from the window.
Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, South Africa’s Tourism Minister said two meetings planned by both countries to finalise the implementation could not happen.
She made the revelation while answering a question on the status of the visa-free policy during an interaction with the media and some stakeholders in the tourism space.
According to Ms Kubayi-Ngubane, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and Sao Tome and Principe successfully implemented the policy on November 1.
She disclosed this during a media interaction at the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City in Accra Monday. As it stands now, citizens of the six countries can travel to South Africa visa-free for 90 days.
South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has added Ghana to the list of seven countries whose nationals will be permitted to enter South Africa visa-free.
South Africa announced in September 2018, that it was finalising a number of visa waiver agreements with other countries including Ghana, to allow travellers to enter the country without a visa.
“Tourism will soar if we relax visa requirements for entry into South Africa. We know that Tourism is very important for job creation. Out of the 193 countries who are member states of the United Nations, the Department has granted visa-free status to 75 countries. Of these 16 are in our continent and are SADC members and 59 are from all over the world,” Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, said.
It is, however, the hope of the Tourism Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, that the issues regarding the implementation of the visa-free between Ghana and South Africa will be resolved during a meeting between the two countries on Wednesday in South Africa.
She was also confident that the issue will be resolved before South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives in Ghana next week for a state visit.