SA signs visa waiver agreements

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pretoria – Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor on Friday signed visa waiver agreements with ambassadors from several countries.

The ambassadors are from Belgium, Italy, Panama, Spain, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.

The agreement between South Africa and the Benelux States of Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg makes provision for the exemption of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, official and/or service passport holders.

The agreement between Italy and South Africa makes provision for the exemption of visa requirements for holders of valid diplomatic and service or passport holders.

South Africa and Spain signed an agreement regarding visa requirements for holders of diplomatic passports.

South Africa’s agreement with Panama, meanwhile, covers the reciprocal exemption from visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, official, consular and special passports.

Signing the agreements on behalf of government, Pandor said the move would, among other things, ensure the country’s economic growth.

“Any country has an opportunity to expand its friendship and expand its ties,” she said.

She said negotiations to expand the agreement to other countries were at an advanced stage. Officials were also looking at making it easier for business people to travel.

The ambassadors agreed that the agreement will enhance the existing relations that they have with South Africa.

“We hope this will strengthen the relations in many fields,” said Juan Sell Sanz, Ambassador of Spain. –