Tit-for-tat: Satsa concerned by New Zealand visa restrictions

Home Affairs announced it will impose visa restrictions in 2017 following New Zealand’s implementations of the same restrictions.

 Cape Town International Airport as viewed from the runway. Picture: Andres de Wet/Wikimedia Commons.

JOHANNESBURG – The Southern African Tourism Services Association (Satsa) says it is concerning that the Home Affairs Department has decided to implement visa regulations for New Zealanders travelling to South Africa as a tit-for-tat move.

This week Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba announced that he would be imposing visa restrictions from 21 January 2017 following New Zealand’s implementation of the same restrictions earlier this year.

The association said in a statement that security reasons would be a more concrete reason for this move, and not simply revenge.

It says government should be more concerned with presenting South Africa as an attractive destination for tourists and that will not be possible if unnecessary, stringent regulations are implemented.

Last year tourism accounted for more than 9.4% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Satma says it will be engaging the tourism department to find ways to ensure the industry does not suffer.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)