FAQ | south africa government (2023)

When will the borders open for international travel?

Borders will reopen for international travel from October 1, 2020.

What are the health protocols when traveling to South Africa?

Travelers visiting the country are expected to comply with regulations requiring the use of masks at all times, practicing social distancing in public spaces, washing or sanitizing hands regularly and presenting a negative COVID-19 -Include test results no more than 72 hours after the time of departure.

What influenced the decision to open borders to international travel?

The government has decided on a gradual reopening of borders and ports of entry for international business, leisure and other travel, aligning with the World Health Organization (WHO) public health statement on considerations for international travel of July 30, 2020 epidemiological and transmission rates both in South Africa as well as in the countries of origin of the travellers.

How is South Africa doing in terms of response to COVID-19?

South Africa has conducted more than 4 million tests for COVID-19 at public and private health centers. The recycling rate is currently 90 percent. The country now has adequate hospital capacity, including beds, intensive care units and ventilators.

What is the COVID Alert application?

The COVID-Alert APP alerts subscribers and provides relevant information if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. The app helps minimize the risk of spreading the virus. We are asking all international travelers intending to visit the country to download the app so they can monitor and minimize their risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

(Video) South Africa’s Government

Where can I download the COVID Alert application?

You can download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store prior to your arrival in South Africa or upon arrival.

What are the requirements for the 72-hour PCR test for COVID-19?

Travelers wishing to visit the country are expected to undergo a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test no later than 72 hours after departure from their country of origin for South Africa; and introduce yourself before you travel to South Africa. This test must be performed by a certified physician and must include the name and signature of the physician who performed the test.

How does the health screening on arrival in South Africa work?

Upon arrival at the port of entry, the traveler will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 or contact with anyone infected with the COVID-19 virus. Travelers must also provide proof of accommodation address in case they need to self-quarantine upon arrival in the country. If the traveler shows symptoms related to COVID-19 or has been in contact with one or more infected persons, a mandatory COVID-19 test is expected. The traveler bears this check. If the COVID-19 test is positive, the traveler will be quarantined for 10 days at a designated location. Accommodation in a quarantine location is at the expense of the traveller.

What are the requirements for travelers wishing to travel to South Africa from low and medium risk countries?

Travelers from low- and medium-risk countries are only allowed to enter the country subject to the applicable visa requirements.

Which airports will be open for international air travel?

Three airports for international air traffic are opened and operated. These airports are OR Tambo International (in Johannesburg, Gauteng), Cape Town International (in Cape Town, Western Cape) and King Shaka International in (Durban, KwaZulu-Natal).

What are the requirements for travelers traveling to South Africa by plane?

All travelers landing at these airports must present a PCR test no older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. In addition, international travelers must have mandatory travel insurance designed to cover the cost of COVID-19 testing and quarantine. All such travelers will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival. Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19, including elevated body temperature and flu-like symptoms, must take a COVID-19 test, which must be covered by travel insurance. In the event of a positive test result, the traveler will be subject to mandatory quarantine, which will also be paid for by the traveler or travel insurance.

What are the requirements for travelers from other African countries?

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Travelers from all African countries must present a 72-hour PCR test at all ports of entry. Students and educators who commute to South Africa daily are exempt from this obligation. However, these commuters will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 before entering the country.

Which land ports of entry will be opened for travelers from other African countries?

18 land entry points will be opened. Travelers who show up at the borders and are unable to accommodate them will be directed to the border posts currently in operation for processing.

What about commuters from neighboring countries?

Commuters residing in cross-border areas/cities and those from neighboring countries, including those with appropriate work permits and school-age children and teachers, may enter and exit borders for work purposes. These travelers will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and will be quarantined and isolated as appropriate. In addition, these travelers are expected to wear face masks, wash and sanitize their hands regularly, and practice social distancing measures.

What about travelers wishing to enter South Africa via seaports?

To facilitate the movement of goods and medicines in and out of the country, ships can dock, load and unload. Cargo ship crew members can make crew changes. These crew members will also be medically screened for symptoms of COVID-19. Luxury cruise passenger ships are not yet able to dock and offload passengers.

Do business and leisure travelers from Africa also have to present a 72 hour old PCR test upon arrival at the borders?

Yes, all travelers from Africa must present a 72 hour old PCR test at all ports of entry.

If I travel out of the country, do I still take the PCR test and do I have to do the same when I return?

This depends on the protocols of the country you are visiting. Upon your return, you will be subject to South African protocols.

I work on a cargo ship and live in South Africa, can I come home after a crew change?

South African crew disembarking in South African ports from a ship that has not undergone a crew change or has not visited a foreign port 10 days prior to arrival will be subject to an examination and will return home to rest when symptoms are clear. You must be in possession of a PCR test certificate no older than three (3) months upon boarding the ship.

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Are home PCR tests sent to a testing lab allowed?

No, PCR testing must be performed by a certified physician.

What about the VISA-free status of citizens of certain countries?

The visa-free status does not change the current Covid-19 regulations. Visa-free status has been restored for citizens of the following countries and territories:

  • South Korea; - Spain; - Italy; - Germany; -Hong Kong; - Singapore;
  • UNITED STATES; - GREAT BRITAIN; - France; -Portugal; and - Iran.

Is multiple entry allowed for cross-border business people?

Businessmen providing services across SADC borders are allowed multiple entries under the following conditions: Presentation of a certificate of a negative Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours from the time of departure. This certificate is valid for 14 days.

What about travelers in transit?

Travelers transiting South Africa by air can find connecting flights to their destinations provided they comply with applicable health protocols.

Have VISA services resumed?

Visa services, including submitting applications through VFS Global, have resumed in the following categories: visitor visas; study visa; contract visa; business visa; crew visa; medical treatment visa; family visa; general work visa; Critical Skills Work Visa; Work visa for intra-company transfer; pensioner visa; company visa; visa change; Waiving the mandatory requirement as provided in Section 31(2)(c); and the appeals or reviews provided for in Article 8 of the Immigration Act.

What compliance requirements apply to airlines?

A foreign operator (i.e. an airline) must submit procedures for approval by the South African Civil Aviation Authority demonstrating the level of compliance with South Africa's COVID-19 legislation.

An operator will not board a passenger without a valid negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) certificate or a valid negative COVID-19 test certificate.

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What are the compliance requirements for passengers?

Passengers must wear face masks at all times and may only remove them in emergencies or when instructed by cabin crew, and must practice social distancing and ensure regular hand washing and sanitizing.

A passenger who is unable to wear a face mask due to an underlying medical condition must provide the operator with a medical certificate from a licensed physician prior to departure.

A child under the age of two may be exempted from wearing a face mask. This is because masks can restrict the breathing of young children because their airways are smaller than those of older children and adults.

A passenger must provide the operator with a negative PCR test certificate or a valid negative COVID-19 test certificate obtained no more than 72 hours prior to the date of travel from an accredited laboratory and in accordance with the organization's requirements.

If a passenger is symptomatic, required Health Department protocols will be followed.

If for any reason the passenger fails to present a certificate proving a negative PCR test certificate or a valid negative COVID-19 test certificate upon arrival in South Africa, the passenger will be subject to mandatory quarantine at a government-designated facility as provided for in the Health Instructions. at your own expense.

A transit passenger must be in possession of a negative PCR test certificate or a valid negative COVID-19 test certificate issued by an accredited laboratory no more than 72 hours prior to the date of travel.

What are the compliance requirements for airline crew members?

Crew members must wear face masks at all times except during a safety briefing and in an emergency. Crew members are subject to the health protocols set out in the Health Instructions upon arrival in South Africa. An operator shall ensure the following risk mitigation measures for crew members:

(a) conduct risk assessments to ensure crew members are fit before undertaking their voyage duties and mitigate the risk of crew infection from COVID-19; Y

(b) ensure that crew members are protected on duty.


What are the biggest issues in South Africa? ›

According to a Public opinion survey in South Africa, the common issues in the state are Unemployment, Corruption, and crime. This has been a common feature in South Africa over the years with the rising rate of crimes in the state, commonly in forms of robbery, rape, carjacking, stealing, and murder.

Is South Africa rich or poor? ›

The Economy of South Africa is the third largest in Africa and the most industrialized, technologically advanced, and diversified economy in Africa overall. South Africa is an upper-middle-income economy, one of only eight such countries in Africa.

How can we improve the economy of South Africa? ›

Improving the effectiveness of public investment, in part through strengthening the selection process for large infrastructure projects, would be a step towards restoring productivity growth. Improving skills in line with employer needs will also be key to revive GDP growth.

Why is South Africa not developed? ›

The reasons – government regulations cost too much; inflexible labour market increases costs and hassles; essential infrastructure and institutional efficiency are deteriorating, with enormous implications for business; there have been too many changes too quickly – over 500 changes to the regulatory environment for ...

What are the top 5 most violated rights in South Africa? ›

The top five most violated human rights in South Africa are: Equality (749 complaints) Unfair labour practices (440 complaints) Ongoing lack of access to health care, water, food, and social security (428 complaints)

What is South Africa's biggest economic problem? ›

High Unemployment Rate

High unemployment remains the key challenge for South Africa and the country struggles to generate sufficient jobs. From the beginning of the 20th century, unemployment was articulated as an alarming issue in the world.

Which city is rich in South Africa? ›

Johannesburg is South Africa richest city, with most of the wealth concentrated in the suburbs of Sandhurst, Hyde Park, and West Cliff. In Cape Town, Clifton, Bantry Bay, Fresnaye, and Camps Bay are the richest suburbs in the city.

Is South Africa best place to live? ›

Cape Town is followed by Durban (133rd), then Pretoria (147th) and finally Johannesburg (152nd). Globally, South Africa ranks 40th out of 71 countries measured, pointing to a middling quality of life, when compared to other countries.

Is South Africa good to live? ›

Living in South Africa has many perks- it's a stunning country, filled with unbeatable natural splendour, vibrant cultures, mouth-watering cuisine and activities to tickle any fancy as well as a warm wamkelekile (welcome) that permeates its people, businesses and towns.

How can South Africa become a better country? ›

“Ensuring a better future for all South Africans will require increased access to higher education, a stronger and fairer labour market, deeper participation in regional markets and a regulatory framework that fosters entrepreneurship and allows small businesses to thrive.

What drives South Africa economy? ›

Trade. Because of its dependence on foreign trade, South Africa's economy is sensitive to global economic conditions. Precious metals and base metals have been leading exports; agricultural goods and military equipment also play an important role.

How can we solve poverty in South Africa? ›

Building better lives
  1. Quality healthcare for all.
  2. Improving education.
  3. Fighting hunger and poverty.
  4. Building infrastructure.
  5. Redistributing land.

Is South Africa becoming poor? ›

Households in South Africa are losing wealth, according to the latest Momentum/Unisa South African Household Wealth Index for the third quarter of 2022. The research shows that households lost an estimated R253 billion in Q3 2022 following the decline of R1. 275 trillion in Q2 2022.

What are the issues in South Africa? ›

South Africa
  • Attacks on Environmental Rights Defenders.
  • Rule of Law.
  • Police Conduct.
  • Women's Rights.
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
  • Children's Rights.
  • Covid-19-Related Abuses.
  • Climate Change Impacts and Policy.

Why is South Africa so important? ›

As a strong democracy and sub-Saharan Africa's most advanced economy, South Africa plays a key economic and political role on the continent. The United States seeks opportunities for increased U.S.-South African cooperation on regional and international issues.

Which law is unfair in South Africa? ›

4 of 2000) is a comprehensive South African anti-discrimination law. It prohibits unfair discrimination by the government and by private organisations and individuals and forbids hate speech and harassment.
Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 2000
Bill published on25 October 1999
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What is the most important law in South Africa? ›

The Constitution is the supreme law

South Africa is a constitutional democracy. This means the Constitution is the highest law of the land. Parliament cannot pass a law which goes against the Constitution. No person, not even the President, can go against it.

What are the 3 most basic rights? ›

Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and personal security. Freedom from persecution, access to education, health-care and decent living conditions are all fundamental human rights.

What does South Africa lack? ›

It can offer reassurances that its policies and actions speak to issues of their greatest concern. In South Africa, public opinion surveys have repeatedly shown that South Africans rank unemployment, crime and corruption as the three most important issues facing the country. Others include housing and water.

What makes South Africa rich? ›

South Africa is rich in a variety of minerals. In addition to diamonds and gold, the country also contains reserves of iron ore, platinum, manganese, chromium, copper, uranium, silver, beryllium, and titanium.

What type of economy is South Africa? ›

South Africa has a mixed economy in which there is a variety of private freedom, combined with centralized economic planning and government regulation. South Africa is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

What is the poorest region in South Africa? ›

South Africa's poorest province is the Eastern Cape. The wealthiest province is Gauteng. Around 880,000 of the mostly rural Eastern Cape's people live in poverty.

Who runs South Africa? ›

President of South Africa
President of the Republic of South Africa
Incumbent Cyril Ramaphosa since 15 February 2018
Government of South Africa
StyleMr. President (informal) His Excellency (formal, diplomatic)
TypeHead of state Head of government
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Who is the richest man in Africa? ›

Aliko Dangote

Which city is safer in South Africa? ›

Cape Town. Cape Town has experienced a rise in crime in certain districts recently. However, it still boasts some of the most desirable neighborhoods and remains the safest major city in South Africa.

Why do people love South Africa? ›

South Africa has been called “A world in one country”. It offers cosmopolitan cities, a rainbow nation of richly diverse cultures, spectacular scenery and of course the Big Five safari experience. South Africa has it all!

What are the benefits of living in South Africa? ›

Top 10 Reasons to Move to South Africa
  • Landscape. Moving to South Africa will allow you to explore the country's extremely diverse landscape. ...
  • Flora and Fauna. ...
  • Lifestyle. ...
  • Your Rand Goes a Long Way. ...
  • Wining and Dining. ...
  • Weather. ...
  • Life is Slower and You'll Learn Patience. ...
  • Friendly People.
Feb 24, 2017

Is South Africa a friendly country? ›

Our people. South Africans are known around the world as some of the friendliest, most welcoming people in the world. You'll always be greeted with a smile and a helping hand will be extended whenever you need it.

What is crime like in South Africa? ›

Quarterly crime statistics show a rise in murder, rape and kidnapping figures compared with the same time last year. More than 7,000 people were murdered over three months in South Africa, according to new police statistics, which showed a rise in violent crime from the same period last year.

Why do people move to South Africa? ›

Often, expatriates moving to South Africa are offered high salaries, and because of the cheap cost of labor in the country, expats can expect a high standard of living, being able to afford part-time or full-time domestic help. Eating out and alcohol is also considered cheap.

What problems should South Africa solve? ›

9 major problems facing South Africa - and how to fix them
  • Too few South Africans in work.
  • The quality of school education for most black people is sub standard.
  • Poorly located and inadequate infrastructure limits social inclusion and faster economic growth.
  • Spatial challenges continue to marginalise the poor.

What does South Africa need right now? ›

“South Africa continues to face an ever-increasing number of people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET). The upsurge in the number of NEET suggests the need to expand access to post-school education and training opportunities in the system beyond current provisioning,” he said.

What can government do to improve economy? ›

Source: The World Economic Forum.
  • Recognize and build new frameworks. ...
  • Create incentives for funding and investment. ...
  • Expand education and research. ...
  • Make public and private procurement channels more inclusive. ...
  • Collect and make visible social impact data.
May 23, 2022

What is the main business in South Africa? ›

Among the key sectors that keep South Africa's economic engine running are manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, financial services, transport, mining, agriculture and tourism.

Which industry makes the most money in South Africa? ›

Looking at more granular jobs data, Stats SA's estimates point to workers involved in the manufacturing of coke oven products, petroleum refineries, and the processing of nuclear fuel as being the top earners in the country, with average earnings of R60,000 per month.

What are 3 major industries in South Africa? ›

Key economic sectors

Mining, transport, energy, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture.

What does South Africa struggle with? ›

Poorly located and inadequate infrastructure limits social inclusion and faster economic growth. Spatial challenges continue to marginalise the poor. South Africa's growth path is highly resource intensive and hence unsustainable. The ailing public health system confronts a massive disease burden.

What are the 3 biggest issues affecting Africa? ›

Intra-state conflict, terrorism, and unconstitutional changes of government are three of the biggest security issues in Africa to monitor in 2022.

What is the major conflict in the country of South Africa? ›

List of wars involving South Africa
ConflictSouth Africa and alliesLosses
South African Border War (1966–1989)South Africa Portugal UNITA FNLA2,038 dead
Natal Civil War (1987–1994)IFPUnknown
Operation Boleas (1998)South Africa Botswana11 dead
Battle of Bangui (2013)South Africa Central African Republic15 dead
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