The South African government has noted substantial progress in interventions that will improve the country’s economic stance and create much needed jobs.
Among these interventions include reforming and modernising South Africa’s visa regime.
These were among the updates provided to government, labour, business at the second monthly meeting of the Presidential Working Committee on the Jobs Summit held Monday.
In the meeting, South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi reported that changes to South Africa’s visa regime to make the country more accessible for visitors, investors and people with skills that are critical to building the economy, were underway.
The ministry has lowered turnaround times for critical work skills visas which are now issued within four weeks in 88.5 % of applications.
Business and general work visas are issued within eight weeks in 98 percent of applications.
In November, the department will embark on a pilot scheme for the issuing of e-visas, which applicants will be able to access online, eliminating the need for applicants to visit South African missions abroad.
The department has also located visa services within the offices of various investment facilitation agencies around the country.
In addition, visa requirements have been simplified for countries such as China and India, which are key markets for tourism to South Africa.
Recently, government also waived visas for travellers from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, New Zealand, Cuba, Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe.