High-ranking officials from South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will no longer need to present visas upon arrival when visiting either country.
Home Affairs Minister Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize and DRC Deputy Prime Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari signed the visa waiver agreement in Pretoria on Sunday, 30 June.
Speaking at the signing, Mkhize highlighted the fact that both countries were working hard to achieve the goals of the Agenda 2063, with the aim of ensuring countries were are “able to interact and engage freely”.
The African Union defines the Agenda 2063 as “a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. It builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.”
According to IOL, when asked why the waiver would benefit high-ranking officials and diplomats only, Mkhize said: “We have been issuing long-term visas to business-people and academics. They already have their own package. They engage and they move freely.”
The waiver would still observe the respective countries’ laws, with Deputy Prime Minister Shadari saying: “The agreement also empowers one country to deny entry to a person it deems undesirable.”