The South Africa Tourism (SAT) says the country’s e-visa procurement portal has begun operations.
Nomasonto Ndlovu, Chief Operating Officer, SAT, said this on Thursday during the country’s roadshow programme held in Lagos.
Ndlovu said that applicants could submit their documents via the e-visa procurement portal, www.dha.gov.za, for processing and acquisition of their visas.
According to her, the initial cumbersome process of visa procurement which takes months, now requires few days.
“We are very excited that finally there is a solution to our visa procurement system, our problem of inability to process visas faster is now over.
“The portal is now working, there is no need to be travelling around to acquire our visa again, this time, 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,” she said.
Ndlovu said that SAT was excited with the development because it would also fast-track the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.
She noted that the e-visa procurement portal was one of the strategies designed by the country to ensure full recovery from the losses accrued in the era of COVID-19.
She said that the visa application backlog which was due to the lockdown ocassioned by COVID-19 would be attended to in earnest.
Ndlovu said that 23 South African tourism companies, including tour operators, hoteliers and more were brought to Nigeria to expose them to the Nigerian tourism market.
She said the whole essence of this was to give these companies market access to transform South African tourism industry.
“We have brought in South African travel operators to link up with the Nigerian tour operators to do business together and grow the industry.
“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.
“Nigerian market and West African market are very important to us in trying to recover from COVID-19 pandemic, it is an opportunity to promote Intra-Africa travels and trade.
“The essence of this meeting is to signal the importance of 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 said.
Earlier, Thekiso Rakolojane, Regional Head, West Africa, SAT, explained the processes on the e-visa platform to apply for visas. (NAN)