Visa Relief for Visitors – Minister makes 180-Degree Turn

In the Blanket Concession of December 2023, all pending temporary Visa applications, appeals and waivers were addressed and dealt with the same way as in previous circulars and their validity extended until 30 June 2024. But this time the pending visitor visa extensions were specifically excluded. According to the Circular, each visitor who had submitted an extension application for a visitor visa and who has not received the extension by 23 February 2024 would have to leave the country by 29 February 2024, failing which he or she would be declared undesirable and banned from the country for a minimum period of 1 year.

An outcry followed and the fear to scare tourists away was published, discussed and raised as a major concern across the economic and fiscal landscapes of the hospitality industry in South Africa, but defiant still-Minister Aaron Motsoaledi basked in the admiration of his xenophobic followers and the extremists within the ANC who would like nothing more than all foreigners leaving tomorrow.

Fortunately, this opinion and attitude is reserved for a rather small political minority of ideologically blinded and intellectually challenged group of politicians that keep their ill-deserved position not based on merit but solely due to the ongoing nepotism around the President and the NEC.

Serious High-Level talks took place within the echelons of power and among the Ministers and due to their relentless pounding and persuasive argument – and not as claimed by some Facebook Bloggers based on their interventions – the Minister used the Debate on the recent State of the Nation Address of President Cyril Ramaphosa to briefly address his Circular regarding visitors and their pending extensions.

A coward as he is, blinded by a hatred for foreigners that has no plausible reason, he reversed his ruling. But he did not do that in an apologetic way, he lied through his teeth and blamed this Circular to be leaked into the public by accident as it was allegedly aimed at the training of officials at the Border management Authority (BMA). Just how stupid the Minister thinks the people are? Nobody bought it, but is is now official:

Each Visitor, who has applied for an extension of a visitor visa at the local VfS office and is in possession of a genuine submission slip may remain in the country until the extension application has been decided upon, whether positive or negative. The Minister made it clear – and we hope the message has been received by those border officials who still ignore this fact – that while awaiting the application to be finalised and the old visa has been expired and we quote:” … no one should arrest you while you have such a receipt, and no one can declare you undesirable.

We hear you Minister, but we do not forgive you for the hardship you have caused so many tourists just visiting and admiring this beautiful country!

Scroll to Top