30 November 2010

SA Tourism elated at South Africa VISA development in Nigeria

VISA application processes now outsourced to independent firm

SA High Commissioner, Head of Consular Section and First Secretary at the media briefing. SA High Commissioner, Head of Consular Section and First Secretary at the media briefing.

“SA Tourism is pleased with the new development in the appointment of independent VISA processing firm, VFS Global,  with regards to the VISA issuing process put in place by the South African High Commission”, says Phumi Dhlomo Regional Director Africa and Domestic, SA Tourism.

Lagos  - November 2010:  "SA Tourism is pleased with the new development in the appointment of independent VISA processing firm, VFS Global,  with regards to the VISA issuing process put in place by the South African High Commission", says Phumi Dhlomo Regional Director Africa and Domestic, SA Tourism.

The South African High Commissioner in Nigeria,  Mr JKN Mamabolo, recently promised that new measures would be put in place to resolve the challenges of issuing South African visas to Nigerians.

Dhlomo pointed out that the tender appointment of VFS is a milestone in South African Tourism's commitment to hassle-free VISA applications for all Nigerians willing to travel, explore and experience South Africa's leisure tourism offering.

"SA Tourism's plea for efficient and hassle-free VISA application coupled with its reaffirmed commitment to the Nigerian market is further assured of a continuous increase in tourists' arrivals in South Africa from Nigeria beyond the projected number," Dhlomo added.

This development is a further indication of the thriving brotherly relationship between South Africa and Nigeria as well as a robust partnership for the good of both countries.

The High Commissioner said that the motive of the agreement is to bring about efficiency as well as tackle the challenges of overcrowding, touts and unsolicited third party agents in the process of the country's visa application.

"It is our view as the South African High Commission that the issues of overcrowding, touts and agents, as well as alleged acts of corruption will be dealt with as Mission and the VFS are committed to a swift process of receiving application in an environment that is well organized and humane," Mamabolo stated.

He  disclosed that two South African visa application centres would become operational in both Lagos and Abuja on 14 December this year and 17 January, 2011 respectively, adding that these centres would only receive ordinary visa applications "as diplomatic and official passport holders including study, work permit and medical will still continue to apply for visa directly at the mission".

VFS Global Nigeria Country Manager, Pranav Sinha, assured prospective Nigerian travellers that Visa Application Centres would be staffed with well-trained employees who would be able to give professional advice to applicants.

He explained that the visa application centres are a one stop shop that will include a bank for visa fee payment to ensure all the processes of the visa application are done at one spot.

Pranav further stated that a VFS website which will be linked to the South African Home Affairs Department's site is to be launched to provide full information concerning South Africa visa requirements.

In addition, a call centre and a tracking system are to be put in place to allow applicants track and receive information with regards to the status of their application.

Also present at the High Commission's media briefing in Lagos were: Mrs. Tampane Molefe-Sefanyetso, the Counsellor Immigration and Civic Services at the High Commission; Mr. Pranav  Sinha, Country Manager for VFS Global Services and Mr. Paul Waniko, also of the VFS Global Services

Ends

Note to Editors

About South African Tourism

South African Tourism is the national tourism agency responsible for marketing South Africa as a destination internationally and domestically. It aims to make tourism the leading economic sector in South Africa, and so promote sustainable economic and social empowerment of all South Africans. At the same time South Africa is marketed as an integral part of Africa and particularly the subcontinent of southern Africa

Issued by TOPCOMM on behalf of South African Tourism in Nigeria. TOPCOMM is a member of The Marketing Orchestra, the new global network for integrated communications. www.themarketingorchestra.com

For further information contact:

Sandisiwe Gugushe at SA Tourism                 Tope Ogbeni-Awe at TOPCOMM                 

Tel: +27 11 895 3043                                  Tel: +234 803 963 0155

Email: sandisiwe@southafrica.net                 Email: tope.ogbeni-awe@topcommng.com    

Website www.southafrica.net                        Website www.topcommng.com     

 

Register on our media extranet to browse the latest news releases (from SA Tourism as well as the tourism industry in general), access the news archive and get details of all upcoming tourism industry events (both locally and internationally) http://mediaextranet.southafrica.net

South African Tourism is the national tourism agency responsible for the marketing of South Africa as a preferred tourist destination. It is headed up by Chief Executive Officer, Ms Thandiwe January-McLean and Chief Operating Officer, Mr Timothy Scholtz.