This site reported last week that SA media outlets were already celebrating free and visa free travel to the EU on the grounds of a ministerial statement making mention of talks with EU officials. As we know, SA media groups do have a way of getting on bandwagons before they were manufactured.
We warned that holders of the green mamba passport need not crack open the bubbly yet, because we are dealing with an ANC minister who is making idle promises. But reports did suggest that EU countries may ease visa regulations for South Africans (in the long run).
Media outlets quoted Home Affairs minister, Malusi Gigaba, as saying EU member states may relax visa requirements for South Africa at some stage in the future. At the moment South Africans need Schengen visas to visit EU countries as well as an extremely expensive UK visa – introduced after security issues with SA passports and the amount of fraudulent entries into the UK.
Now New Zealand says South African will have to apply for a visitor visa from the 21 November (2016), due to incidents of counterfeit or fraudulent passports.
Currently, South Africans do not need to apply for a visitor visa before travelling to New Zealand, with visitors being granted a visitor visa on arrival. As a result of the change, all visitors from South Africa will need to obtain a visa before travelling to New Zealand.
The New Zealand government said in a statement earlier today (Monday) the cost of a visitor visa is $165 (NZ) (R1,636) for those who apply before 21 November 2016. From 21 November 2016 the cost for paper applications increases to $184 (R1,825) while the online cost remains $165 (R1,636).
“The government is introducing these changes as a result of an increase in the number of ineligible passengers who do not meet New Zealand entry instructions. “This is evidenced by an increase in the number of passengers who have been refused permission to board a flight to New Zealand or refused entry at the border in comparison to other visa waiver countries.
“Additionally, there have been incidents of passengers who have been found holding counterfeit or fraudulently obtained South African passports,” the statement said.