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Thursday 12 January 2017

Watch New Zealand and South Africa behave like idiots


New Zealand and South Africa are countries with close sporting and cultural links; but their Governments are behaving like spoilt brats and making it very hard for citizens of one country to visit the other. 

The Travel Agents Association says New Zealand started the debacle by slapping visa requirements on South African travellers in November following what it said was a rise in the number of people trying to get into New Zealand on fraudulent passports.

The South Africans retaliated by forcing Kiwis wanting to visit South Africa to travel in person to Wellington or Canberra to get a visa from the South African embassy starting from Monday.

The moves pile on cost and inconvenience at both ends. You have to wonder whether the New Zealand diplomats involved have any idea what a big country South Africa is; or if the South Africans realise how long it can take to get from say, Invercargill to Wellington.

There will also be those extra costs involved and Immigration NZ r
ecommends that South African applicants apply for a visitor visa about six weeks in advance of their intended travel dates. Hardly convenient or efficient. 

The tit-for-tat moves will almost certainly reduce tourism numbers to both countries and are plainly idiotic.

If someone tries to enter either country on a suspected false passport, detain them until it can be checked (surely less than 24 hours) and send them straight home if it is false. The message would soon get home. 
Problem solved. Consultancy fee awaited.

On the other hand, not too many Kiwis would be trying to enter South Africa on a false passport. The South African reaction is churlish and stupid.

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