South African counterpart calls on Union Home Minister July 08, 2015 .

A delegation from South Africa led by the Home Minister, Mr. Malusi Nkanyezi Gigaba called on the Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh, here today.

Addressing the delegation, the Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh recalled that India’s relationship with South Africa began to strengthen when Mahatma Gandhi started his Satyagraha. There have been friendly ties between both the countries and enhanced cooperation in diverse areas, including in commercial and economic relations. Shri Rajnath Singh said that there is substantial potential for growth of trade and tourism given the mutual business interests that exist between India and South Africa. He underscored that the issue of immigration and visa plays an important role in meaningful transformation of any cooperative efforts between two countries in these areas, he added.

The Union Home Minister said that the Government of India is committed to have meaningful cooperation between both the countries so that challenges faced on many fronts can be adequately addressed. India adopts a holistic approach that ensures ‘zero tolerance’ towards terrorism and it is committed to combating terrorism and extremism and to ensure that perpetrators of terrorist acts, their masterminds and conspirators are brought to justice, the Union Home Minister added.

Shri Rajnath Singh said that India and South Africa are active members of several international groups, such as the “India-Brazil-South Africa” (IBSA) Dialogue Forum and the “Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa” (BRICS) initiative. These international groupings, play an increasingly important role in promoting closer coordination and greater understanding on global issues between our countries, he added.

The Union Home Minister said historically, politically, commercially and culturally, South Africa is an important partner of India. Both the countries should be able to build a stronger and more effective international arena, not only for the safety and prosperity of our own communities, but for greater global peace and stability, Shri Rajnath Singh added.

The South African Home Minister, Mr. Malusi Nkanyezi Gigaba in his response showed interest in E-Tourist Visa, Border Management and Visa facilitation agreement. He mentioned that South Africa is keen to promote tourism and business between the two countries and would recommend business visa with multiple entry for a period of 10 years on the basis of reciprocity. He also highlighted about the steps being taken in South Africa from security point of view for checking the cases of visa through fraudulent documents and measures being taken to tighten the security environment in the country.

The issues of protection of children from abuse, unveiling of statue of Nelson Mandela in India later this year, repatriation of criminals and drug traffickers were also discussed in the meeting.

Both sides also reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen and enhance the existing bilateral cooperation in the fields of economic development, internal security, border management, passport, visa and immigration in addition to other areas of cooperation.

The Union Home Secretary, Shri L.C. Goyal, the High Commissioner of South Africa in India, Mr. F.K. Morule and other senior officers from both countries also participated in the meeting.