By John Masaba
All Ugandan travellers hoping to get visas in South Africa will have to wait a little longer as the agreement between the two countries deal is not among those that have been concluded yet.
As such, Ugandans travelling to South Africa still have to undertake the application process while still in Uganda.
Ofwono Opondo, the government spokesperson, made the clarification on Wednesday (March 1).
He was reacting to reports that a deal had already been reached between Uganda and South Africa, during President Yoweri Museveni’s state visit to South Africa on invitation of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“That Ugandans will start getting visas on arrival at Oliver Tambo airport (in South Africa) is false,” Opondo said.
He added: “This matter was raised at the just-concluded business forum as requested. Ugandans still need to obtain a visa in Uganda.”
Ramaphosa on Tuesday described Museveni’s visit as a building block to strong political and economic relations between the two countries.
Later that day, the South African president hosted his Ugandan counterpart at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where the two leaders held talks on political, economic, and regional peace in Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Western Sahara.
Museveni and Ramaposa also reportedly discussed the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the lack of a permanent representation of Africa in the UN Security Council, calling for reforms.
Ramaphosa said by deepening these relations, “we aim to better the lives of our people and continue the struggle to overcome poverty, unemployment and inequality.”
He acknowledged the challenges relating to trade and investment between the two countries but noted that there had been steady progress in resolving them.
The two heads of State reportedly tasked the two countries’ trade ministers to put in place a mechanism to protect investments.
Museveni and Ramaphosa witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation between South Africa’s Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC), Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) and Uganda Development Bank Limited (UDBL).
Other agreements signed were on tourism, transport, ICT, correctional services and prisons, women, youth and persons with disabilities.
It is estimated that over 500,000 Ugandans currently live and work in South Africa.