The Western Cape MEC of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier has requested that the country introduce a remote working visa to allow international visitors to stay longer and work remotely while travelling within the country.
Maynier has written to the Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane and the Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi with his request.
“The Western Cape has everything it takes to be the best remote working location in the world if we remove the red tape and roll out the red carpet for digital nomad tourists.
“Globally, many countries are competing to capture the market for the longer-stay tourist who can work online from anywhere in the world while earning and spending foreign currency in the country they are visiting,” he said.
Maynier said digital nomad tourists were an important market as they were more resilient to the challenges of the pandemic.
“Introducing a remote working visa makes business sense. Not only will it attract a significant number of long-term, financially independent travellers to South Africa during this period of economic uncertainty, but remote workers are also more likely to invite their family and friends to visit in the future.
“This could also have positive spin-offs for foreign direct investment, and the promotion of South African goods and services exports as travellers get to know and love all the great things about our country.”
He said he hoped that Kubayi-Ngubane and deputy minister Masondo will see the “clear value in this regulatory change” and will work with Motsoaledi to “fast track the necessary changes to the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 Regulations”.
Premier Alan Winde said given the impact that Covid-19 brought on the tourism sector in South Africa, the visa would be a great contribution to its recovery.
Wesgro will launch a portal that curates and promotes a range of accommodation establishments and services across multiple locations to guide those looking for longer-stay options in the Western Cape.
This follows a successful campaign, in partnership with Airbnb, to promote remote working domestically, encouraging South Africans to take advantage of the flexibility that working from anywhere brings.
Cape Town has made the 2021 list for the 50 “Best Cities for Remote Working”, according to Big 7 Travel.