Finally, the long held contentious relationship between Rwanda and South Africa could be pronounced a gone case.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared that the relationship between the two countries is going to be on a “much better footing.”
He said that he spoke with President Paul Kagame and “we decided” that we are going to improve the relationship between Rwanda and South Africa.
Ramaphosa also announced that South Africa will deal with the issue of VISA requirements for Rwandans, a decision that was welcomed with wild applause from participants at the ongoing Extraordinary Meeting on African Continental Free Trade Area (the AfCFTA) in Kigali.
“The issue of VISAs of Rwandans to South Africa; consider it solved,” he said.
Rwandans, with the exception of government officials, carrying diplomatic and service passports, have not been able to legally travel to South Africa since 2014 following a falling out over Pretoria’s offer of asylum to people Rwanda considered dissidents.
Yet, South Africans get visas upon arrival in Rwanda.
Ramaphosa said that this issue will be handled and solved immediately.
He said the ministers of foreign affairs of both countries had been tasked to handle the matter and “bring us solutions.”
“President Kagame and I will sign what they will bring to the table,” he added.
Ramaphosa is considered friendly to Rwanda compared to his predecessor Jacob Zuma who has not been friendly.
In 2016, while in Rwanda for the World Economic Forum on Africa, Ramaphosa said that Kigali and Pretoria may have differences – but share more than what conflicts them.