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General News of Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Ghanaians with ordinary passports need visas to enter South Africa – Ayorkor Botchway

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway has revealed that Ghanaians with ordinary passports are required to get visas in order to enter South Africa contrary to claims that it was no longer required.

Early July, the South African government in a twitter post announced that Ghana has been added to its visa-free countries list.

According to South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledu, out of the 193 countries who are member states of the United Nations, the Department granted visa-free status to 75 countries.

He said 16 out of the 75 are in “our (African) continent and are SADC members and 59 are from all over the world”. Ghana is part of some seven countries who have just been added to the visa-free list.

South Africa, in September 2018 said it was finalising a number of visa waiver agreements with other countries including Ghana to allow travellers to enter the country without a visa.

But addressing the media on Tuesday’s ‘Meet The Press’, the Minister stressed that Ghanaians with diplomatic and service passports are the only ones who can enter South Africa without a visa.

According to her, those with ordinary passports can only have free access once both countries reach an agreement and before that is achieved, parliament will have to give its approval.

Giving further explanations, the Foreign Affairs Minister said “Let me say that presently those with Diplomatic and Service passports do not need visas to enter South Africa. What South Africa is seeking to do is to also waive visas for Ghanaians with ordinary passports. Before that happens, what needs to be done is for the agencies responsible on both sides; the Ghana side to sit down and even before they sit down; as a country we must also in the spirit of reciprocity make a decision that South Africa is waiving for ordinary passports and it can only come into effect if we decide to do same for them”.

“For us, it might be that we will have to take it to Parliament...So this is a process but they’ve showed good faith and it’s as a direct benefit of the President’s travel to South Africa. So this is one of the benefits that these travels yield for us as a country”, she added.