On Monday, the Russian Embassy to South Africa advised Russian nationals that while an agreement between South Africa and Russia of visa-free travel of up to 90 days may be on the cards, it’s not yet official and the procedure could take another month.
The signing of a protocol between SA and Russia on the mutual abolition of visas for travellers with regular international passports “through an exchange of notes” was signed on 18 January on the instruction of Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev. The procedure is expected to be concluded some time in February 2017.
The number of travellers from Russia to South Africa has continued to grow in recent years, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told Russian news agency TASS, which is one of the motivators of the South African government’s aim to streamline the visa requirements for travellers between the countries.
In 2015, the Department of Home Affairs introduced 10-year visas for senior Russian businesspeople, while in 2016, there was a 14,8% increase in the total number of tourists.