This Is Why Some Ghanaians Are Struggling To Accept That They Still Need A Visa When Traveling To South Africa
In 2018, Ghanaians welcomed with joy the reports about South Africa adding Ghana to the list of countries that could enter South Africa without a visa in a bid to boost the country’s tourism.
While people have accepted the reality that South Africa might have mentioned Ghana by mistake, a good number of people believe that Ghanaian passport holders currently visit South Africa without a visa. The interesting part is that they have ‘credible’ sources to support this claim.
Why Do People Think South Africa Is Visa-free for Ghanaians?
It’s no surprise that people only got to know they needed a visa to South Africa after purchasing an airline ticket. The information available on the website of the Parliament of Ghana says Ghanaian citizens do not require a visa when traveling to South Africa. It reads:
Similarly, Ghanaian citizens no longer require entry visas before entering South Africa. This is because Ghana has been added to South Africa’s list of visa-free countries.
This information has been available on the Parliament’s website since October 2019. Unfortunately for people trying to confirm on Google if Ghana needs a visa to South Africa, the Parliament’s website shows up first in results. Just imagine the number of people who have been misled by this piece of false information.
To confirm what appears on the website of Parliament of Ghana, Wikipedia also says South Africa is visa-free for Ghanaian passport holders. What a wow! lol. It looks like Wikipedia is now interested in who is notable and who isn’t than verifying every information posted by editors.
It’s really hard to convince someone who has read the information on Parliament’s website and Wikipedia that Ghanaian passport holders still require visas when traveling to South Africa. Probably the only way for them is to try traveling without a visa 😂 .
Was Ghana really part of South Africa’s plan?
I will say a big NO.
When the South Africa home office minister said in 2018 that negotiations were being finalised for visa waiver agreements with some countries, Ghana wasn’t mentioned. Only Cuba, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, and Belarus were captured. Ghana was not mentioned, and all journalists present who tweeted the minister’s message did not have Ghana in their tweets.
— Alex Mitchley (@AlexMitchley) September 25, 2018
Whether magic was conjured or what, Ghana surprisingly found its way on the list of several online reports with no reference to any official statement from the Department of Home Affairs.
Luckily, Ghana and Sao Tome & Principe appeared on a new official list that emerged in 2019.
Today, we wish to announce an addition to our visa – free countries.
•United Arab Emirates
•Sao Tome and Principe@travel24 @tourism_gov_za#DHABudgetVote2019 pic.twitter.com/u6edTwkWxu
— HomeAffairsSA 🇿🇦 (@HomeAffairsSA) July 10, 2019
This time it sounded promising and the news was met with jubilation as Ghanaians were tired of the ridiculous service fees charged by the Visa Application Center, which is about four times the official visa fees. Many Ghanaian travellers to South Africa suspended their trips with the hope of saving at least GHS500 and take advantage of the visa-free travel. A few weeks later, all the countries on the list were approved to begin visa-free travels to South Africa with the exception of Ghana and Sao Tome & Principe.
Authorities in South Africa promised to meet Ghanaian authorities and finalise the implementation by the end of August 2019. With how the then-Foreign Ministry of Ghana was signing several bilateral visa agreements, Ghanaians were confident that the ministry would never hesitate in meeting South African authorities to ensure quick implementation of the policy.
South Africa might have silently removed Ghana from the list. They have made several announcements about changes in their visa policy; South Africa visa validity for Chinese and Nigerians and piloted e-Visa system with Kenya, but said nothing about granting Ghanaians visa-free entry.
Do Ghanaians need visa for South Africa?
Yes. In January 2021, the South Africa High Commission released a statement from its partner VFS that Ghanaians should present at least three month’s bank statement when applying for a visa.
South Africa visa, or its requirements, have therefore not been waived for Ghanaian passport holders. Treat the information on Parliament of Ghana’s website and Wikipedia as false and apply for a visa when traveling to South Africa.
How can Jetsanza.com help?
Jetsanza.com can assist you to put up a successful South Africa visa application. We will guide you through the application process and even help to plan your activities in South Africa. Contact Us.
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