United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa has questioned South African passport holders’ difficulty with entering the United Kingdom, while they can freely visit South Africa.
According to the Henley Passport Index, South African passport holders can only enter three European countries visa-free – Ireland, Kosovo, and the Russian Federation – while UK passport holders don’t need a visa to enter South Africa.
Holomisa said in a statement: “UK citizens come and go, but South Africans must go through [a] stringent and expensive visa process to visit Britain. SA government must talk to its British counterparts to review the situation. Why are they still so tough on us?
“For some time now the United Kingdom (UK) has required South Africans to apply for visas to visit the UK, because of that country’s security concerns.
“This includes the tedious requirement to obtain a transit visa to connect with flights to other countries. Yet, South Africa is still committed to freely welcome UK travellers and business people to our shores.
“Rightly or wrongly, there seem to have been a taint of distrust of South Africans that arose around 2008/9.”
“Much has changed since then, and one would argue that the time has come for the British and South African governments to reassess, and to alleviate a situation that by design unfairly penalises South Africans and virtually, still brands us [as a nation] as potential terrorists.”
Holomisa called on the South African and British governments to reevaluate their reasons for their decision, and if possible, for the British government to tell South Africa where it was still lacking.
A few months back, Ryan Rennison, director of UK immigration agency Move Up, warned that South Africans applying for visas to live and work in the United Kingdom (UK) were experiencing “serious delays” in their visa application processing times.
(Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde)