DA writes to Presidency to adopt digital nomad visa

Issued by Hannah Winkler MP – DA Member on the Portfolio Committee on Tourism
26 Oct 2022 in News

President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation address in February this year, stated that he had appointed former Department of Home Affairs Director-General, Mr Mavuso Msimang, to review South Africa’s visa regime.

At present there are 49 countries globally that have adopted digital nomad visas and many other countries are poised to roll out the visa in order to attract and boost tourism post-Covid.

Namibia is the first country on the continent to roll out a digital nomad visa which permits international visitors to stay for extended periods in the country on a temporary residency visa to work remotely for an international employer.

South Africa needs to position itself competitively as a preferred destination on the continent by implementing visa regime reforms that attract tourists and encourage longer stays. According to research, digital nomads stay longer periods in the country than other leisure travellers, spending more money. In order to recoup the 470 000 jobs lost due to Covid, every avenue to boost tourism needs to be undertaken – and this needs to be done swiftly to remain competitive.

I wrote to the presidency requesting that Mr Msimang include a review on the benefits of introducing a digital nomad visa. South Africa stands to gain much needed revenue from a boost to tourism. By easing access to international travellers and staying ahead of emerging trends in tourism, such as the implementation of a digital nomad visa to attract “techpats”, South Africa will boost its attractiveness to new emerging tourism markets.

South Africa’s tourism potential cannot be hindered by bureaucratic stumbling blocks and short-sightedness. Post-Covid, the world is changing and we need to be at the forefront when marketing ourselves as a preferred tourism destination. Our economy and thousands of jobs depend on it.