• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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South Africa e-visa fully operational in Nigeria, says Ndlovu

South Africa e-visa fully operational in Nigeria, says Ndlovu

Nomasonto Ndlovu, the chief operating officer of South Africa Tourism (SAT), has disclosed that Nigerians applying for South Africa (SA) visa can now enjoy an average of 10 to 15 days to complete their visa applications as the country’s e-visa application is fully operational in Nigeria now.

“The portal is now working, there is no need to be travelling around to acquire our visa again this time, and applicants are to upload their documents for application while they wait a few days to get their visas. The e-visa link will be sent to our trade partners for ease of doing business, it is indeed a big win for us,” SAT’s chief operating officer said.

Ndlovu disclosed the e-visa feat during a welcome function for SAT’s specially curated event titled ‘Come Journey With Us At Our Roadshow’, which was held at Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on Thursday September 1, 2022.

According to her, the e-visa procurement portal was one of the strategies designed by the country to ensure full recovery from the losses accrued during the COVID-19 lockdown, and that other visa application backlog would be attended to. “We are very excited that finally there is a solution to our visa procurement system, and our problem of inability to process visas faster is now over”, she enthused.

She disclosed further that new applicants can now submit their documents via the e-visa procurement portal, www.dha.gov.za, for processing and acquisition of their visas. She states further that all the initial cumbersome process of visa procurement, which takes months, now requires a few days, averaging 15 days for approval in the e-visa regime.

Excited Ndlovu said SAT is, most importantly, leveraging on the e-visa to deepen its presence in the West African market, Nigeria in particular as that will also help to fast-track the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) adoption.

Read also: Continent collaborates to drive tourism growth, recovery at Africa & Travel Indaba 2022

According to her, about 23 companies playing in the South African tourism ecosystem, including tour operators, travel agencies, hoteliers and others are part of the Nigerian roadshow to leverage on partnerships with players in the Nigerian tourism market. She said that the primary role of SAT is to expose the South African businesses to the Nigerian market. “We have brought in South African travel operators to link up with the Nigerian tour operators to do business together and grow the industry. Our job at SAT is to open the door for South Africa businesses,” Ndlovu said.

According to her, the Nigerian and West African markets are very important to the recovery strategy of the South African tourism ecosystem, as the economy makes strides to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which also provides an opportunity to promote intra-Africa travels and trade.

“This is also good for Nigerian tour operators who want to take tourists to South Africa; they will be knowledgeable enough to sell the destination. The essence of this meeting is to signal the importance of the Nigerian market to SAT and to signal our commitment to this market,” she said.

Ndlovu noted that SAT was interested in collaborations with intending corporate partners who are out to explore South Africa as a destination for leisure, holiday, business, meeting, conferences and more.

“We are open to business, looking for corporate partners with innovative ideas to move SAT forward,” she concluded.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian travel community is excited over the e-visa, noting that it has been a gray-area for travel to South Africa.

Most tour operators, travel agencies and tourism stakeholders present at the event thanked the Ndlovu-led SAT for removing one of the obstacles to intra-Africa travels, noting that it would rebound traffic to South African destinations.