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Zimbabweans’ on edge as SA Department of Home Affairs awaits Cabinet’s permit decision

Zimbabweans’ on edge as SA Department of Home Affairs awaits Cabinet’s permit decision

Zimbabweans’ On Edge As SA Department Of Home Affairs Awaits Cabinet’S Permit Decision


By Estelle Vosloo

The South African Department of Home Affairs, under the leadership of Minister Malusi Gigaba, have not yet reached a decision regarding the expiration of the special dispensation permits issued to Zimbabweans living in South Africa four years ago.

According to press statements the minister will consult with Cabinet in this regard and is expected to announce a decision by 15th August 2014.

Zimbabweans working and living in the Republic have been so lawfully since special visas were issued to them by the South African Department of Home Affairs four years ago. These visas have expired and should the group of migrants not be granted new visas or a special extension to their current visa they will face the largest mass deportation in the history of the country.

Last week we reported that the Zimbabwean Minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohandi were in talks with his South African counterpart Malusi Gigaba. The two statesmen met to discuss the potential crisis faced by anxious Zimbabwean nationals in South Africa who were not at a risk of losing their livelihood and homes should they be forced to evacuate South Africa.

The permits issued to 250 000 Zimbabweans in 2009 granted them the legal right to live and work in South Africa amidst political and economic instability in their home country.

Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Community in South Africa (ZCSA) Ngqabutho Mabhena the Southern Eye that they were hopeful that “Gigaba will stick to his timeline as some permits have expired and Zimbabweans are getting worried”.
“Gigaba is to consult over the issues discussed with Mohadi in their meeting in Pretoria. All issues that are of concern to Zimbabwe nationals resident in South Africa were raised with Gigaba by Mohadi,” Mabhena said.

“It should be noted that a few weeks ago, Gigaba informed Parliament that he was to make an announcement on or before August 15 2014 on the issue of special permits issued to Zimbabweans four years ago. We believe that Gigaba will stick to his timeline as some permits have expired and Zimbabweans are getting worried.”
Mabhena also appealed to concerned Zimbabweans to “allow Gigaba to do the necessary consultations”.

The Zimbabwe Community in South Africa focusses on helping Zimbabwean national to settle in South Africa and to ensure that they follow the directives set out by the South African Department of Home Affairs when applying for visas and to understand the newest permit application system in the country.

The Zimbabwe Community in South Africa organization have said that they would want permit holders to be issued with at least two-year extension. This, they said, will allow those who want to apply for permanent residence to do so.

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