NAIROBI, Kenya, May 4 – Kenyans on transit through South Africa will no longer be required to pay visa fees.
This comes after talks held between South Africa’s minister for Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba and Kenya’s interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Joseph Nkaissery on doing away with the fees for those on transit.
An earlier agreement signed said this condition will be pegged on the number of hours Kenyans spent in South Africa while on transit.
Gigaba also highlighted that the number of days spent on processing a visa would be reduced from the current seven days, an issue that has been contentious for Kenyans.
“We have appointed a high level strategic committee to look into these issues before the signing takes effect,” stated Gigaba.
Business people and those studying in the country have not been left out either as there will be long term and multiple entry visas.
“For students studying in South Africa, they will get long term visas aligned to their course of study. Those with critical skills will be granted permanent residence in South Africa to make use of their techniques there,” he added.
Gigaba explained that the move by the South African Government will help to relax movement rules while cognisant of security issues.
However Kenyans who travel there as tourists or on medical grounds will not be allowed to adjust their visa conditions while in South Africa whereas business people, academics or regular travellers can do so as long as one meets the criteria or are deemed genuine travellers.
CS Nkaissery was quick to note that Kenyans will still have to apply for visas the same way as they must meet all the other financial conditions, apply through the third party firm VFS Global, and wait for a visa within the period which is set to be reduced.
“The move is a reprieve to Kenyans, who have been complaining it takes long to have their visas processed,” noted Nkaissery.