NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 9 – Kenyans will enjoy visa-free entry to South Africa starting January 1 2023 for a maximum of 90 days annually.

This follows discussions between President William Ruto and South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa at Statehouse Nairobi.

“I express Kenya’s appreciation for the progress we’ve made in the long-awaited visa-free regime between Kenya and South Africa,” said Ruto.

The two heads of state also agreed on a return policy when immigration laws are breached.

Pretoria has for long remained noncommittal on reviewing visa requirements for Kenyans visiting South Africa making it an uphill task to secure one.

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta set the stage for discussions in 2016 when he said the two countries needed to do away with the restrictive visa requirements.

Last year, President Ramaphosa and Uhuru started talks to relax visa restrictions for Kenyans visiting South Africa.

However, this was on condition that Kenya takes back thousands of its citizens who accessed South Africa illegally.

South Africans visiting Kenya do not need a visa, whilst Kenyans pay Sh5,350 for a South African Visa.

In the strict requirements, Kenyans applying for visa must also provide proof of sufficient funds and return flight air tickets.

By Fred Odanga.