Students with permits can still enter SA

14 January 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

Namibians who have existing immigration permits to travel to South Africa for studying purposes will still be allowed into the country. However, no new permits will be issued to Namibians for either study or other purposes.

Namibia’s chief of immigration in the home affairs ministry Nehemia Nghishekwa said this was confirmed by his counterpart in South Africa.

This after that country this week announced the closure of all its 20 land borders until mid-February in an effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The academic year for most universities in South Africa only starts in March. However, registration at some institutions started as early as 5 January.

Affected border posts

Overland travel into and out of South Africa will only be permitted for certain reasons such as the transportation of goods and for those who hold valid visas.

Under the current regulations, foreign nationals can leave South Africa, but cannot enter unless permitted within the list of exemptions or upon lodging a successful emergency application with the department of home affairs.

The affected land border posts include Alexander Bay-Oranjemund, Onseepkans-Vellorsdrif, Rietfontein-Klein Menasse, Sendelingsdrif, Nakop-Ariamsvlei and Mata Mata.

International air travel to South Africa is still allowed, while all its commercial seaports will remain open and small crafts will be allowed entry.

Essentials only

Nghishekwa said the Vioolsdrift-Noordoewer border crossing remains open for essential travel, which includes the transportation of goods, medical reasons and funerals.

“Business travel and tourism remains suspended until 15 February and the situation will be monitored and we will act accordingly.”

He said although Namibian border posts remain open, passage will only be allowed if the corresponding border of a neighbouring country is also open.

“When it is closed on the other side, we cannot allow entry.”

Meanwhile, tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta said tourism will definitely be affected as Namibia relies on South Africa for inbound tourism.

He said although people can still fly in and out of South Africa, many people to drive, adding that around 30% of tourists coming from South Africa and Angola prefer driving.

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