In the past, foreign nationals transiting in South Africa when traveling from one country to another did not have to possess a visa for such transit. However, the South African Embassy in Manila recently informed the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila that this shall no longer be the case effective 01 June 2010.

In a note (No. PHIL/21/10) dated 10 June 2010 sent to the DFA, the South African Embassy confirmed the “limited reinstatement of the transit visa”. It explained that “Section 10B (1) of the South African Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002) provides for the issuance of a transit visa to any person other than a South African citizen or permanent resident, who is proceeding from a place outside of the Republic to a destination outside of the Republic.”

In view of this, effective 01 June 2010, “all non-visa exempt foreigners who proceed to South Africa for transiting purposes en route to its neighboring countries (i.e. Botswana; Lesotho; Mozambique; Namibia; Swaziland; and Zimbabwe) must possess transit visas.

The South African Embassy has further informed the DFA that to allow for an introductory period some degree of “leniency shall be displayed at South Africa’s ports of entry in acquiring transit visa during the month of June 2010”. Thereafter, from 01 July 2010, the requirement shall be strictly enforced.

In view of the foregoing, the Consulate General advises Filipino nationals in its area of responsibility, who are traveling or intending to travel to countries, with South Africa as transit point, to abide with the country’s transit visa requirement to avoid any inconvenience.

A transit visa for South Africa may be obtained from their Consulate General in Jeddah.

Jeddah, 2010-07-07.