South Africa To Offer Online Visa To Indians From Next Week.

South Africa will put in place an online visa facility for Indian tourists on a pilot basis from next week, the African country’s Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said on Thursday.

Stating that South Africa has taken several measures to provide ease of access to Indian tourists, including bringing changes in the visa regime, the minister said, “the Process for online visa application system is going to happen from next week.”

South Africa is also looking to invite Indian or other carriers to start direct flights between Mumbai and South Africa as there are no direct flights between the two nations currently. The South African Transport Ministry is willing to offer a license to any carrier that is willing to start a direct flight.

Currently, online visa applications were being processed in Kenya. “We are improving our process as and when we get the feedback. We aim to launch the service in India next week and China next month. We are looking at a full implementation on e-visa services by April 2020.” she said.

As of October 2019, over 81,316 Indians traveled to South Africa, registering a 30 percent increase on a year-on-year basis. Currently, South Africa hosts over 10.4 million tourists every year, and according to Ngubane, the nation aims to see an inflow of 21 million tourists every year.

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said South Africa sees a 30.2% growth in tourist arrivals from India on a year-on-year basis, and it could increase to 50% over some time.

She said the South African government was exploring whether there was an airline ( from a third country) willing to operate direct flights to Mumbai. If there were any, the proposal would be discussed with the Indian government.