The South African government has announced that citizens of New Zealand will now need a visa to travel to the country. The news follows announcements in October from the New Zealand government that South Africans will now need visas for travel to New Zealand. The end of the visa waiver for South Africans comes amid a raft of tightening of visa regulations in New Zealand in an attempt to stem the tide of migrants entering the country. The government had reported that there had been an unacceptable number of South African citizens that had over stayed their three month visas or that had been denied entry after discovering their documents were fraudulent.
In the past South African citizens travelling to New Zealand for up to three months on business, for tourism, or for short-term study under three months, were not required to apply for a visa but from 21st November visas would have to be obtained at a cost of NZ$165. The New Zealand government said that this would bring their regulations in line with other countries including the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia but has been met with dismay by South African travellers and has resulted in the new South African visa announcements.
The South African government announced that in line with national interested had applied the reciprocal agreement with New Zealand but now that New Zealand had ended their side of the agreement South Africa had to do the same.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said that fees would remain low and that other reciprocal agreements would reviewed stating:
“We have further noted‚ in recent times‚ a number of countries have imposed visa restrictions on SA passport holders.” Noting that he would review all of these and decide if the government should reciprocate.