SAA heralds transit visa scrapping

South African Airways (SAA) has welcomed a decision by Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to remove the requirement for foreigners to apply for transit visas for South Africa, according to the South Africa Press Association. “SAA has long been a supporter of the ‘South to South’ initiative to encourage trade and investment between the South East Asian, South American and South African markets,” said spokeswoman Jacqui O’Sullivan on Thursday.

She said the transit visa policy had hindered that initiative by creating obstacles for business people.

Mapisa-Nqakula said earlier: “I have decided to suspend the requirement for transit visas for all countries… In the meantime, I will commission a study into international best practices relating to transit visas.”

SAA welcomed the announcement, stating that passengers travelled via alternative destinations rather than South Africa to avoid the inconvenience and delays caused by the transit visa applications.