He was confident that the 249 000 people in the country on a Dispensation for Zimbabwe Project permit would apply for the new Zimbabwe Special Permit for which the deadline is 31 December.
Only those with the initial permit known as the Zimbabwe Special Dispensation Permit are allowed to apply. Those without a permit would have to go through the normal routes to obtain on for the temporary residency permits which would include the South African Work Visa, the Critical Skills Visa or study visa.
Zimbabweans in the country illegally were granted an opportunity from 2009 to legalise their stay via the permit, as a result of the political and socio-economic conditions in their country.
Minister Gigaba said those with the old permit could apply for the new visa by using the VFS website. They would be issued a barcode, a track and trace number, and would be contacted with a date for a face-to-face interview.
When Gigaba visited the Cape Town branch of VFS Global late in November he was greeted by people patiently queuing for their interview while holding onto their passports and proof of employment, business, or study.
Biometric photographs and fingerprints were also taken and forms part of the new immigration act implemented earlier this year. Biometric testing also includes the submission of fingerprints which are submitted to the police's automatic fingerprint identification system to check for criminal records and results are returned within two days.
Gigaba said in a press statement that all completed applications are electronically submitted to the Department of Home Affairs for adjudication and should be concluded within a month to two months.
By the last week of November just 26% of applications had been adjudicated and according to Gigaba all permits should be ready and issued by the end of April.
He added that Gigaba said that the Department of Home Affairs would soon begin a similar process for the Basotho, Mozambicans, and other Southern African Development Community nationals.
"The processes are not going to be open-ended. We are going to be strict about it," he said.