South African Tourism (SAT) CEO, Thulani Nzima is keen to resolve visa challenges in India and China. He stated that he was disappointed with the visa services for issuing of South African visas in India.
Speaking to Indian media in Durban, Nzima said that there was a delay in issuing of visas early this year in India due to shortage of staff at the visa centres. In China too, there were visa challenges as the visa centres in Beijing and Shanghai ran out of visa paper. Nzima said, "As the marketing arm of South African tourism, we are not involved in issuance of visas, but it is in our best interests that as we market the country, there are no visa impediments for people who want to come to our country. We have now taken up the issue with home affairs and all the embassies in those countries where we have bottlenecks, either in the way the visas are issued or in the number of visa centres. Two weeks ago, we have been assured by the ministry of home affairs that new staff replacements have been recruited to man the visa centres in India and that they have also increased capacity."
He also added that for a vast country like India, only two visa centres - in Mumbai and Delhi - were clearly inadequate and South African Tourism has taken up this issue with the South African Embassy. "As India is yet to introduce the e-visa, this is a serious problem. Even in China there are only two visa centres, so this is an issue we plan to resolve," Nzima.