The Royal Commonwealth Society with its supporting partners visited 10 Downing Street in March 2017 to submit its public petition on restoring visa-free travel for South Africans visiting the UK. The business and diaspora-backed campaign received positive support with 12,000 signatures from people across the UK and South Africa.
The campaign and petition to restore visa-free travel for South Africans visiting the UK was launched in November 2016. The campaign was run in partnership with South African Chamber of Commerce UK, The South African, Sable International, Philip Gamble & Partners, the South African Diaspora United, and with support and endorsement from the Democratic Alliance Abroad-UK.
Since 2008 South Africans have needed a UK visitor visa. This has caused great pressure on reuniting families and friends. A six-month visitor visa now costs £87 (1,477 ZAR). Eight years have passed without resolution.
Furthermore, the numbers of South African visitors to the UK had dropped from 351,000 to 231,000 over the past eight years with annual total spend of £246m in 2015. This has meant a yearly loss of £128m to the UK economy.
The goal is to demonstrate to both the UK and South African Governments the significant public support for a return to visa-free travel. Our campaign will ensure that this issue will feature prominently in this year’s UK-South Africa Bilateral Forum.
For more information about the campaign and its supporters read the factsheet
and watch the video.