As Christmas swiftly approaches now is often a time to think of friends and family back in South Africa. Many are unable to afford the visa costs to visit the UK and others can just about pay the flights plus the visa but wish it were different. Our grassroots petition goes to the heart of this […]
As Christmas swiftly approaches now is often a time to think of friends and family back in South Africa. Many are unable to afford the visa costs to visit the UK and others can just about pay the flights plus the visa but wish it were different.
Our grassroots petition goes to the heart of this issue by campaigning to restore visa-free travel into the UK for South Africans. I am pleased to write that we have reached our first milestone of 10,000 signatories and we welcome more South Africans signing up.
I recently visited numerous South African shops across London receiving welcome support from the business owners and customers. However, in government circles the current mood is increasingly difficult. Last month saw New Zealand abolishing its visa waiver for visiting South Africans dating back to 1996. In reaction, South African authorities have applied visa requirements for New Zealanders citing issues of reciprocity. These acts are damaging for both sides as the recent confusion shows.
The numbers of Britons visiting South Africa are significantly higher when compared to New Zealanders so any new visa requirements for them are likely to damage the South African economy. Tourists and businessmen may well vote with their feet and visit other African countries where no visa is required.
Therefore, we urge the South African government to resist urges to apply visa restrictions on British nationals and instead work with the British to find ways to restore a safe and secure visa-free travel regime for its own citizens into Britain.
Each signature to our campaign helps the cause. We will be submitting to No. 10 and the South African High Commission in March to show the demand for change ready for next year’s UK-South Africa Bilateral Forum taking place in South Africa.
So please sign up over this festive period to help make reuniting friends and family much easier and cheaper.