South Africa’s immigration minister says Zimbabweans are welcome to enter the country without visas, a change expected to slow the flow of thousands of asylum seekers from the troubled northern neighbor.
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says Zimbabweans no longer need to apply and pay for visas before travelling to South Africa. Instead, they can apply for a free 90-day visitor’s permit at the border.
She says Zimbabwe citizens can also apply to do casual work while in South Africa.
Mapisa-Nqakula appeared with her two Zimbabwean counterparts to make the announcement Monday.
South African officials believe many of the 8 000 or so Zimbabweans who apply daily for asylum status will now opt for the visitors permit.