South Africa Department of Home Affairs is planning to scrap visa requirements for African citizens to enter the country.
According to the department, officials, academics, business people and students who are “trusted travelers” will be the first to benefit. This is according to its latest white paper on International Migration, which was adopted by cabinet six weeks ago but has not been made public yet.
The call for the scrapping of visa requirements for all African citizens traveling on the continent by 2018 is based on the views of African Union’s Agenda 2063, championed by former AU Commission chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
During last year AU summit in Kigali, Dlamini-Zuma and Rwandan President Paul Kagame launched the African passport.
According to the same white paper, South Africa “fully supports the vision of an Africa where its citizens can move more freely across national borders, where intra-Africa trade is encouraged and there is greater integration and development of the African continent.”
The Home Affairs Minister, Hlengiwe Mkhize, is expected to disclose the new immigration dispensation in her budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday. By next year, the new policy will find its way into legislation.