South African nationals are now required to collect visas to enter United Kingdom but the new requirement is not expected to have any major impact on trade between the two countries.
This is after UK notated witH deep concern the easiness with which non-South Africans had been able to get legitimate South African passports fraudulently.
Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is quoted as saying, “In terms of trade, the imposition of the visa requirements by the United Kingdom will not derail any plans and programmes that are in place,”
She said the UK had imposed a visa test on many other countries, not only South Africa. The UK was trying to deal with its own security problems by imposing the test.
“We have had to be subjected to quite a rigorous process in home
affairs by the UK.”
She added: “The UK has written us a letter, acknowledging that we are
doing a lot to improve the security of our passports and identity
The UK announced on February 9 that South African passport holders
would in future need visas to travel there.
This was due to the relative ease with which non-South Africans had been able to get legitimate South African passports fraudulently.
Several Zimbabweans resident in South Africa are holders of SA passports after colluding with Home Affairs offcials.
It costs about US$500 for one to obtain the document.
To address this,SA has said it would by April introduce he new passports, with top secret security features.