Voice of America (Washington, DC)

23 March 2014

Zimbabwe: South Africa Toughens Work Permit Application Process

Photo: Guy Oliver/IRIN
Zimbabwe asylum seekers queue outsdie the home affairs (file photo).

The South African government has announced that foreigners living in that country will now have to go back home to apply for work permits.

According to Daniel Muzenda of the Zimbabwe Migrants Association, the South African government says instead of applying for work permits while in that country, Zimbabweans and other foreigners are now expected to go to their respective nations to file the necessary papers.

Millions of foreigners, including an estimated three million Zimbabweans, are studying and working in South Africa, one of Africa’s developed nations.

Muzenda said this is not workable. “We are talking about three million Zimbabweans who are here in South Africa and for them to go back to Harare and queue at the Home Affairs Department is logistically practically impossible.”

He said the Zimbabwe government should work with Pretoria to find better ways of handling this issue.

“We will be holding a meeting soon with the relevant authorities to find ways of handling this issue,” said Muzenda.

Most of the work permits expire in November this year.

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