Kiwis will soon need a visa to visit South Africa, its government has announced in a move that matches a New Zealand government move this year.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said yesterday that the new requirements will come into force on January 16.

New Zealand last month ended a visa waiver for South Africa passport holders that dated back to 1996.

"These changes are being made as a result of an increase in the number of South African nationals who have been refused entry at the New Zealand border in comparison to other visa waiver countries," Immigration New Zealand said when it announced the change in October.


Immigration New Zealand general manager Peter Elms said the immigration system had to "actively welcome and encourage legitimate visitors" to New Zealand, but at the same time keep out those who do not meet immigration requirements.

"These changes bring New Zealand into line with countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States," he said.

Yesterday, Times Live reported Gigaba as saying the SA government, like other international governments, had matched the move and "applied the principle of reciprocity" in international relations.

Visa fees will remain low, Gigaba said, and all other decisions on reciprocal visa requirements would be made in the interests of SA's broader national interests.

"We have further noted in recent times a number of countries have imposed visa restrictions on SA passport holders," Gigaba said, according to Times Live.

"After a careful consideration of this matter, I have directed departmental officials to look closely at the decisions of these countries and advise accordingly whether or not SA should reciprocate."