The government has clarified on the issue of visa requirement for Malawians seeking to travel to South Africa, saying nothing has changed.
The development comes after some people posted on social media information that, in the near future, Malawians would have to apply for a visa before going to South Africa.
Information Minister Gospel Kazako told The Daily Times that reports that Malawians would need to apply for an e-visa before starting off for the Rainbow Nation were untrue.
“Nothing has changed for Malawians travelling to South Africa. Whatever is circulating on social media is false,” Kazako said.
Information gathered from South Africa e-visa website indicates that Malawi is one of the 28 countries whose citizens can currently enter South Africa visa-free for a period of 30 days.
“However, it is expected that, after the South African e-Visa system has been fully implemented, Malawians will have to obtain the online South African e-Visa to visit the country. This will also allow the South African government to pre-screen individuals using their biometrics and other details before they arrive in the country ensuring a safer travel experience for all visitors. It will also cut down on the time travellers spend getting such screenings at the airport when they arrive in the country,” a post on the website reads.
Kazako said governments of Malawi and South Africa protocol on facilitation of the movement of persons, which is aimed at progressive elimination of obstacles to the free movement of people in the Southern African Development Community Region, was binding.
He said the countries’ signatories had an obligation to, in good faith, refrain from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the protocol.
Meanwhile, Malawi’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed concern over what is calls misinformation being peddled through social media.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has noted with concern an article, which is going around on the social media, purporting that Malawians will have to obtain an e-visa to enter and stay in the Republic of South Africa.
“The ministry would like to inform the public that the visa entry requirements into South Africa remain the same; that is, Malawians do not need a visa to enter the Republic of South Africa for a stay of up to thirty (30) days,” the statement reads.
The statement further indicates that, should there be new developments in future on the matter, due diplomatic processes would be followed.
The South African High Commission to Malawi has also indicated that there are no changes in entry requirements into South Africa.