South Africa to open 4 new visa centres in India

South Africa Tourism has announced the opening of four new visa application centres in India, in order to cater to increasing visa applications. The new centres are expected to open by the end of 2016, bringing the number of visa application centres from nine to thirteen. Locations of the four new centres are yet to be disclosed.

Derek Hanekom, Minister of Tourism, South Africa, commented, “The number of visa applications from India is increasing and cater to them, we are opening four new visa application centres in India by the end of this year. One of the biggest challenges in front of us is visa processing. We are giving dedicated attention to the same.”

Elaborating on the same, Margie Whitehouse, chief marketing officer, South African Tourism, said, “Visa processing has been a barrier for us, there has been a strong recovery in visa application from India in the last three months. We are working towards removing the barriers in front of us. The future contains great potential in India.”

Agreeing with Whitehouse, Hanekom further added, “Our efforts are directed at reducing the load of visa applications at our centres in India. We are also working towards relaxing the visa process for Indians. One of our future considerations may grant visa exemption to Indians if they hold valid US, UK visas or visa from any country that has stringent visa processes. Furthermore, we are also planning to move in the direction of e-visas.”

Alongside, Maropene Ramokgopa, consul general, South African Consulate General also revealed the plan to ease visa processes for business travellers and frequent travellers. Aimed at reducing the load of visa applications, the plan which is still under consideration, will allow business travellers to get a 10-year visa by applying just once. Whereas, other frequent travellers will get a three-year visa. This is expected to reduce the load of visa applications.