UK officials may need visas for SA

Home Affairs has announced plans for stricter visa regulations for all British diplomats and officials.

British diplomats and officials may soon have to apply for visas to visit South Africa. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor said diplomats and officials visiting South Africa from the United Kingdom may soon have to apply for visas before entering the country.

Pandor revealed this in a written parliamentary reply on Wednesday.

All South Africans, including state officials and diplomats, have had to apply for visas to enter Britain since 2009.

Since the British government revoked South Africa's visa-free status amid concerns about corruption, the Department of Home Affairs has redesigned the South African passport with new security features and a tighter issuing process.

However, the UK has not changes its requirements.

Deputy Communications Head of the British High Commission in South Africa, Isabel Potgieter, says the matter is being discussed.

"We are in constant discussions with the South Africans on these issues and it remains a priority for us and South Africa to protect our borders."

Pandor also told Parliament in May that government was considering visas for visitors from the United Kingdom, but this will be limited to officials and diplomats for the time being.