Tanzania scraps visas for SA visitors

South Africans can now visit Tanzania without having to apply for a visa. (Gallo)

South Africans can now visit Tanzania without having to apply for a visa. (Gallo)

South African citizens wishing to travel to Tanzania would not be required to apply for visas, the Tanzanian high commission in South Africa announced on Monday.

The exemption applies to South Africans holding ordinary passports who wish to visit the United Republic of Tanzania for holiday, private and official businesses purposes and those on transits.

The visa exemption applies for 90 days. The decision to exempt South Africans of visa requirements took effect on the beginning of July this year.

First secretary of the Tanzania high commission to South Africa, Habib Mohamed, said the decision was done on reciprocity purposes after discussions that involved officials from the governments of the two nations.

Being a member of the Southern African Development Community, Tanzanians visiting South Africa are also exempted from visas for 90 days.

Earlier in an interview, Tanzania high commissioner to South Africa Radhia Msuya said the two countries were in discussions on how to improve their relationships, with the recent agreement being on exchange of information on different issues such as the economy, tourism, immigrants and prisoners.

Joint permanent commission
"We have now embarked on what we call a bination commission, which is the highest level of co-operation amongst ourselves … It covers all the areas involved in our co-operation," Msuya said.

She said the agreements between the two countries were being implemented through a joint permanent commission that was tasked to work on economic issues, trade, diplomacy, tourism, and social and political issues.

The ambassador said that, at the moment, there was a group of South African youths travelling to Morogoro every year to learn of the relationship between the two nations.

"I wish the youth of Tanzania could also do the same. I would really want young people coming to South Africa to learn more about the history of the two countries and not come here to loiter and become destitute," she said.

She said the relationship between the two countries, has been benefiting both sides and that the government of two countries were determined to improve it.

"You will know that Tanzania's foreign policy is anchored on promoting independence, self-determination, regional integration and subsequently, socio-economic development.
So our bilateral relationship is very good. And having participated in the struggle against the apartheid system, we can only say that our relationship is very good because we continue to achieve different milestones together."

She said Tanzania was learning a lot from what the development that the rainbow nation has achieved, especially on agriculture and infrastructure.

Tanzania and South Africa have for several years enjoyed a cordial relationship that dates back to the liberation struggle, with Tanzania playing a big role in the southern country's quest to get rid of the apartheid system.  

Sylivester Ernest is a 2013 winner of the David Astor Journalism award. He is on attachment to the Mail & Guardian.

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