Relief as SA extends Zimbabweans’ permits
by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
PRETORIA – SOUTH Africa has announced the introduction of the Zimbabwe Special Dispensation (ZPS) programme to renew the permits of thousands of nationals from the foreign country, whose permits were expiring before the end of the year.
According to the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, the previous Zimbabwe Documentation Programe (ZDP), which saw the documentation of about 300 000 Zimbabweans working in South Africa, would be brought to an end on December 31.
ZSP programme would be introduced in January but new applications would start in October.
An admission fee would be introduced for applications.
ZSP will be only valid for three years, a year shorter than the previous programme, following which applicants can apply in their home country.
Gigaba conceded with the permits begin expiring on 31 December 2014, the approaching expiry date had caused anxiety for many permit-holders, particularly those who were not ready to return to Zimbabwe, as they contemplated their next steps.
“The Department of Home Affairs has been considering this matter for some time. I recently met with my Zimbabwean counterpart, Minister Kembo Mohadi, to discuss matters of mutual concern, including the imminent expiry of the DZP. While we note the ongoing political and economic recovery in Zimbabwe, consistently supported by the South African government, we are aware that it will take time for her to fully stabilize,” Gigaba said.
He acknowledged that Zimbabweans made contributions in the South African economy and society, mainly in areas of education and health sectors citingteachers and health professionals as the majority.
“In general, we appreciate the contribution of the immigrants in our country in terms of enhancing our social, cultural and economic life. We are aware that Zimbabwe will need this rich human capital to further advance its own development, but accept that for the time being, many DZP permit-holders would prefer to continue their stay in South Africa. It is in this context, that in recent weeks I have taken note of this anxiety and promised to outline a way forward, after consultation with Cabinet,” Gigaba said.
Millions of Zimbabweans live in South Africa.
Most fled the economic hardships that have characterosed the country over the years.
– CAJ News
Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=1031