close menu

SA to turn tables on UK?

by 1st Contact | May 29, 2013
  • South African Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor made a statement in Parliament in May that has South Africans divided and Brits feeling a little anxious.

    "We had been given a promise that following the (London) Olympics, there would be a focus on whether this visa requirement can be lifted. There hasn't been any movement and I think the time has come for us to consider reciprocity."

    The statement was apparently borne out of frustration caused by the UK government’s reluctance to lift visa requirements for South Africans, despite recent talks hinting at doing just that. It also comes just weeks after a diplomatic row erupted when Britain announced it would cut its £19m annual development aid to South Africa.

    South Africa's visa-free status was revoked in 2009 amid concerns about corruption within the South African home affairs department and the apparent ease with which foreign nationals could get South African passports. (A British court heard that at least 6 000 illegal Asian immigrants had been smuggled into the UK on South African passports.)

    Thousands of South Africans were suddenly forced to pay around R1000 for a short-term visa, whether visiting friends and family or doing business in the UK. It has also caused bureaucratic issues for South African businessmen, officials and diplomats.

    But recently, the South Africa government hinted at the possibility of the ban being lifted, after efforts to “clean up its act”.

    The South African government said that internal corruption has been eradicated and that stricter measures had been taken to clean up the national population register and redesign the security features of South African passports.

    But it seems the UK is not budging and Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor might consider a “tit for tat” visa strategy, whereby Brits would be forced to obtain a visa to enter South Africa.

    Opinions are split as to whether or not this is a good idea, with some saying the country could use the extra income and others warning that the visa could deter Brits from visiting South Africa, with catastrophic effects.

    Tourism expert Martin van Niekerk told Beeld newspaper that the move was short-sighted and could negatively affect the country’s economy, as Britain was South Africa’s largest tourist market.

    Beeld also reported that Prof Sanette Ferreira, of Stellenbosch University's geography and environmental studies department, added that complex logistics with visa applications would probably deter British visitors. She added that SA didn’t have the capacity for a complex system and was already struggling to produce ID books.


    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

    • visa application
      What’s the difference between a UK Marriage Visitor visa and a spouse visa?
      Nov 08, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Sydney skyline
      Invest in Australian property and earn permanent residency for you and your family
      Oct 18, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • Australia-look-see.png
      Everything you should do on your look-and-see visit to Australia
      Aug 12, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • Porto cityscape
      10 reasons to move to Porto, Portugal
      Jul 29, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Oxford-street
      Everything you ever wanted to know about applying for a UK Tier 2 (General) visa
      Jul 18, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Australia skyline
      Landed a temporary job Down Under? Get an Australian working holiday visa
      Jul 08, 2019  |  by Guest writer
    • sydney-australia
      Australian visa processing times: How long you’ll wait for approval
      Jun 27, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • British passport and citizenship approved
      British citizenship and indefinite leave to remain: Why you need to know the difference
      Jun 25, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • seven-corners-image
      The importance of purchasing travel insurance with a Tier 4 UK student visa
      Jun 13, 2019  |  by Guest writer
    • kangaroos
      Two new Aussie visa routes for skilled migrants
      May 23, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood

    South Africa

    Cape Town

    Regent Square
    Doncaster Road
    Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


    25 Richefond Circle
    Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

    United Kingdom


    One Croydon
    12-16 Addiscombe Road
    Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



    9 Yarra Street
    South Yarra
    VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

    We use cookies to provide the best website experience for you. Using this website means that you agree to this. How we use cookies.