Ambassador Lin Songtian, who is the top Chinese diplomat in South Africa had on Friday, said that the current visa and permit laws in South Africa for foreigners, sabotage its drive to double the traffic from tourists into the country and attract investors to boost the country's economy.
According to Lin, South Africa has only three visa officials in China, and this is shocking, considering the bilateral trade and cooperation between the two countries. He said it is not right to expect millions of tourists trooping into the country when with only the officials, the resultant long queues make it tedious and stressful to obtain a South African visa.
Lin went on to say that the difficulty in obtaining a visa is a statement of visa refusal. Again, in his argument, he asked that if it is so difficult for tourists to come, how then are investors supposed to come.
South Africa's Minister of Home Affairs, according to Lin, has listened and sent more personnel to China.
The diplomat went on to reveal that high-tech companies like Huawei have complained of how difficult it has been for them to obtain work permits in South Africa. Coega automobile, another big company in the investment industry, has made similar complaints.
These Chinese Chinese firms, according to Lin, are creating job opportunities for citizens of South Africa, but that some of their top officials are transferred from China. He hammered that it is critical for South Africa to provide the needed work permits for top technical and management workers.
South Africa's president, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Thursday night, while delivering his State of the Nation Address, revealed his plans to renew the country's brand and introduce a world-class visa system which will drive tourist traffic into the country to 21 million by 2030.
According to him, the visa regime will especially focus on the Indian and Chinese markers as well as air arrivals from the rest of Africa.
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