Tit for Tat put on hold for two months

KENYA NOW POSTPONES NEW VISA REGULATIONS FOR SOUTH AFRICAN BY 2 MONTHS

(Posted 27th June 2014)

Confirmation was received yesterday that the Kenyan High Commission has, following vehement protests from the Kenyan tourism sector and South African based travel agents, postponed for at least two months their tit for tat measure, requiring South Africans travelling to and via Kenya to obtain Visa in advance at the High Commission in Pretoria.

It was South Africa which had started the diplomatic row last year by requiring Kenyans to obtain transit Visa in advance, when in a shift of policy they compelled Kenyans to pay for Visa processing through a private contractor, while maintaining that the Visa itself was free. Apart from the staff at the contractors office being described as rude and arrogant to this correspondent by several applicants from Nairobi have delays been pointed out, eventually leading to the Kenya High Commission using the diplomatic principle of reciprocity to impose counter measures which were however seen as hugely detrimental to Kenya’s tourism sector, which last year welcomed some 30.000+ visitors from South Africa and saw Kenya Airways benefit from a fast growing passenger stream flying with them via Nairobi to the Europe, India and the Middle and Far East.

It was pointed out that as the only way to obtain the Visa was by personal appearance at the Kenya High Commission in Pretoria for biometric processing, and the 5 day waiting period, would effectively wipe out any significant tourism stream from South Africa to East Africa, at a time when Kenya needs every single client it can get, probably the main factor why Kenya now postponed the measures from 01st of July until 01st of September, to give time for further diplomatic negotiations how to resolve the issue for the benefit of both sides.

Below is the notice received yesterday for the benefit of readers:

NEW KENYA VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR SOUTH AFRICANS

Latest Update 24/06/2014: Further to the numerous requests, the implementation for the visa has been postponed to 1st September, 2014.

Previous notice: The Kenya High Commission has announced that South African passport holders are now required to apply for a visa prior to travelling or transiting through Kenya . This new rule will be effective from July 1st 2014 as published on the Kenya High Commission website.

Previously, South African passport holders were exempted from visa requirements when travelling for 30 days or less. With the new rule, South Africans are required to pay R750 fees and will no longer be issued with Visas on arrival in Kenya.
This move by the Kenya High Commission comes after the new South Africa immigration laws.

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