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SA embassy staff too inflexible

I WOULD like to point out how travel in Africa has been difficult these days, especially to South Africa.

I am a young professional who regularly travels to

South Africa on business.

However, there is one thing that upsets me about travel to this country.

For a start, I have failed to attend about three to four of my business meetings in South Africa due to the fact that I failed to get my visa on time.

One thing that the people at the embassy should know is that in many a case you are invited to a business meeting at short notice. You have no other option apart from attending but alas, there is no hurry at the embassy.

With the new stringent conditions there is hardly anyone looking for visas yet they continue to stick to the fact that one needs seven days to get one.

Is that practical given the fact that sometimes one gets a fax inviting them for a meeting because there are urgent issues arising. Everything that I will be doing in South Africa is for the benefit of South Africa as a country.

We need to look at things in a holistic manner. Why is it taking the same time to process a visa while the embassy is receiving less than a quarter of the applications that it used to receive? Are the people there of the opinion that everything Zimbabwean is bad?

I have seen a number of people missing interviews even if there is evidence to show that someone is needed urgently. Why can’t the embassy introduce an urgent visa section?

Is it fair that we lose on opportunities because some people are just difficult? With your papers right you do not even need a day to get a visa at the British embassy.

You need just 48 hours at the Cameroon Consulate in Johannesburg, three days at the Ghana embassy, none to Botswana, none to Zambia and so forth. Please do revise your system.

In as much as it would be the Zimbabwean population that is suffering due to this new system, South Africa is also losing.

The last three meetings that I missed were government projects meant for the benefit of the South Africans.

Zimbabwean graduates are called for interviews but they can not attend. So what option is there for us to lead honest lives while there are some people who make life impossible? The British, Australians, Americans as well as other companies use South Africa as an interview base for recruiting people looking forward to working overseas yet there is a bottleneck here in Zimbabwe.

For how long shall the embassy continue to lock us here?

Please can someone at the embassy qualified to answer this letter do so?

Looking forward to your response.

Tonderai Mutema,


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