SA to impose visa restrictions on New Zealand passport holders

This follows New Zealand's decision in November that requires South African visitors to have visas when visiting the country.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: GCIS

PRETORIA - South Africa has imposed visa restrictions on New Zealand passport holders entering the country from 21 January.

This follows New Zealand requiring visas of South African visitors from November.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says the South African step is a retaliatory move and more restrictions might follow against other countries.

“I have directed the departmental officials to look closely at the decisions of these countries and advise accordingly whether or not South Africa should reciprocate also in all of these matters.”

New Zealand says it has implemented visa restrictions because of the number of South Africans visiting families rather than coming for business or tourism, the number of those who exceed their three-month limit on visits and the number of people presenting bogus South African passports on entering New Zealand.

South Africa does not always play this diplomatic tit for tat game when its citizens are slapped with visa restrictions.

Visitors from Britain, Canada and the United States continue to enter South Africa without restrictions although South Africans have to have visas to enter those countries.

Gigaba says a pragmatic decision is made based on what imposing visa restrictions will do to bilateral trade, business and tourism.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)