Plans are underway for South Africa and Kenya to introduce a 10-year multiple entry visa for businesspeople to ease movement between the two countries.
If all goes according to plan, the two countries will, with effect from 1 December 2018, introduce the multiple entry visa for business.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba made the announcement on Monday after meeting with his Kenyan counterpart, Fred Matiang’i, at the Lindela Repatriation Centre in Krugersdorp, Gauteng.
Addressing media after their meeting and walkabout at the centre, Gigaba and Matang’i said the two countries are working on a visa exemption framework.
“We want to ensure free movement for the purposes of promoting tourism and business in our countries,” said Gigaba.
The Minister said the South African government will be working together with visa facilitation services in Kenya for the implementation of the visa framework.
“We also reaffirmed the commitment of both governments to further discussing any additional impediments of migration that may arise.”
Gigaba said the visit by Matang’i followed his visit to Kenya. Matang’i described the meeting as “very successful and historic”.
“All that we discussed and agreed upon is intended to improve relations between the two countries. South Africa is one of our critical partners and today we have made a huge achievement,” Matang’i said.
It is envisaged that the two countries will eventually become visa-free.
After their meeting, the two Ministers, accompanied by officials, embarked on a walkabout at Lindela Repatriation Centre.
The centre is one of South Africa’s largest facilities for the holding of undocumented immigrants, who then await determination of their legal status in South Africa or deportation.
Due to an ever increasing burden on South African Police Services (SAPS) holding cells and the lack of detention capacity in the country’s prisons, the need for a repatriation centre in Gauteng was identified by the Department of Home Affairs.
In 1996, Lindela was opened to meet this requirement. It is compliant with all good governance and lawful criteria. The Department of Home Affairs is legally and administratively responsible for all matters pertaining to the apprehension, holding, processing, repatriation and release of illegal immigrants at Lindela.
The people are repatriated and transported by Home Affairs, almost on a daily basis, to border posts or O. R. Tambo International Airport and Lanseria International Airport.