Patricia De Lille

South Africa preparing two types of visa waivers for Nigeria

David Mawuli

South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs is preparing two types of visa waivers for Nigerian travelers following the recent visa-free agreement with Ghana.

In November 2023, Ghana and South Africa announced a visa-waiver deal, allowing citizens to move freely between them. The visa-waiver allows for travel for up to 90 days within a calendar year for business or leisure purposes.

Aside from Ghana, South Africa has a visa-waiver agreement with over 30 African countries.

The recent deal with Ghana caused a weeklong banter between Ghanaians and Nigerians on social media, especially on X (formerly Twitter). Even though Nigeria is among the leading countries that frequent South Africa, they are yet to secure a visa-waiver that will ease their movements. However, it appears there is hope.

The Minister of Tourism of South Africa, Patricia de Lille has said the Department of Tourism is preparing a visa-free deal with Nigerian counterpart to ease travel processes for travelers from the West African country.

She confirmed this deal during an interview with David Mawuli, editor of MawuliTravels.com and Ghanafuo.com, at the just-ended Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 held in Durban.

“My interest as the Minister of Tourism is to grow the numbers and open up the African skies,” she said. “But when it comes to the visa regime in South Africa that sits with the Minister of Home Affairs. I’m working with the Minister of Home Affairs.”

She said if she had her way, she would have issued the visa-waiver for all African countries, but she would not interfere with the work of the Minister of Home Affairs.

“If I have my ways, I would have opened all the African countries. We currently have 34 African countries with a visa waiver of up to 90 days is applicable and the option to extend for another 90 days while you are in the country.”

The Minister confirmed that there have been ongoing talks between Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Nigeria and that two visa waivers are in the works.

“I know that a lot of work, but it’s been endless, been going on with our brothers and sisters from Nigeria. My last engagement with the Minister [Aaron] Motsoaledi around Nigerian, he informed me that they are sort of working on two visas.”

“The ones they are working on is for business travel that includes attending conferences and meetings, and the second one is a tourist visa. I’m not quite sure why Home Affairs wants to split it into two for Nigeria, but Nigeria is one of the countries since I became the Minister more than a year ago that has been engaging with Home Affairs around the visa issues.”

“I can find out from the Minister of Home Affairs what is the progress or lack of progress but because it’s his mandate, I won’t be able to give you an immediate answer,” he added.

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David Mawuli is a Ghanaian journalist and, travel and food content creator. He kicked off his career as an entertainment reporter and spent 7 years with Pulse.com.gh where he cut his teeth in journalism. David has been nominated for several awards in Ghana but has won two so far. He is currently ranked the 6th top blogger in Ghana. He currently runs MawuliTravels.com alone and is also the Lead Editor at Ghanafuo.com.
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