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SA sticks to visa requirements

Dumisani Muleya

SOUTH Africa has not changed entry requirements for Zimbabweans wishing to travel there as widely speculated, a high commission official in Harare said this week.

The official told Zimbabweans who besieged their premises this week to secure visas that conditions of entry remained unchanged despite rumours that South Africa had relaxed entry conditions for Zimbabweans.

Political counsellor at the high commission, Kingsley Sithole, on Wednesday told a restless crowd of over 3 000 people who had spent three days camped outside their offices along Second Street Extension to follow laid-down conditions of entry.

The Zimbabweans had swamped high commission premises amid speculation that Pretoria had relaxed its visa conditions with a view to scrapping them altogether.

Sithole told the visa applicants that South Africa would maintain its regulations on conditions for entry, dispelling rumours swirling that conditions had been relaxed.

With armed riot police controlling the crowd, Sithole went through the stipulated visa requirements. A police officer assisted him by translating his remarks into Shona for the benefit of the crowd.

Sithole said according to regulations, people travelling on holiday or personal visits to South Africa have to provide evidence of $102 000 or R1 000 as a guarantee.

This has to be supported by a stamped and signed bank statement or a salary slip plus a letter of proof of employment and leave.

Those travelling on business have to attach to their applications letters of invitation from their hosts and letters from their local companies confirming the trip. They also need two passport-size photos which are now an essential requirement.

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