No more visas for Kenyans visiting South Africa
Kenyans heading to South Africa will be allowed to travel and receive a 90-day free Visa upon arrival.
This was announced on Wednesday, at a joint press briefing between Kenya President William Ruto and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa at State House, Nairobi.
Rampahosa is on a two-day visit to Kenya.
“We have agreed that Kenyans should be able to visit South Africa without requiring them to have visas and that this dispensation will commence on January 1, 2023, and that our officials will speed up the processes of putting this into effect,” said President Ramaphosa.
“On behalf of the people of Kenya, I express Kenya’s appreciation for the progress we have made on the long-awaited visa-free regime, between Kenya and South Africa,” said President Ruto.
Previously, Kenyans headed to South Africa were expected to apply for a visa at a cost of between Sh5000 and Sh7000 and wait for five days to find out whether their application was successful.
South Africans meanwhile were allowed to travel to Nairobi and get a visa upon arrival.
Former South Africa president Jacob Zuma said during his visit to Nairobi in 2016 that the strict visa rules imposed on Kenyans were arrived at owing to security concerns.
The two Heads of State also discussed the recent peace deals arrived at between the warring factions in Ethiopia and the move to merge Kenya Airways and South Africa Airways into a continental airline.
South Africa, one of the richest and most developed countries in Africa, remains Kenya’s key trade partner.
Several South African firms including financial services firms Stanbic Bank and Absa alongside Pay-TV channel Supersport have a strong presence in Kenya.
Kenya exports fresh flowers, among other commodities, to South Africa.