21 May 2014

South Africa: Home Affairs Says It Will Renew Special Zimbabwean Permits

Photo: Kristy Siegfried/IRIN
Edeline Kupara, from Zimbabwe, queueing outside the Refugee Reception Office in Cape Town (file photo).

Yesterday the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) announced that Cabinet approved the renewal of permits issued under the Special Dispensation for Zimbabweans. The statement says the Minister of Home Affairs will "in due course provide more clarity on the process to be followed and the date of commencement."

The DHA statement "noted recent reports in print and online media on the coming expiry of permits issued to Zimbabwean nationals under the special dispensation, from 2009. This was to document those who were in South Africa illegally as a result of the political and socio-economic situation in their country. The permits will expire approximately December 2014."

The statement claims that the special dispensation allowed nearly 250,000 Zimbabweans to be "regularized".

Anthony Muteti of PASSOP, an immigrants human rights organisation, said they are happy with the announcement. However he said the DHA should clarify if the recent media reports are true that Zimbabweans should go back and renew their permits from Zimbabwe. He said that logistically it is a nightmare for people to travel all the way to Zimbabwe. It is expensive, the systems in Zimbabwe are dysfunctional and there is unchecked corruption, he said.

He also said that a lot of people currently employed would lose their work if they have to travel to Zimbabwe. Muteti said that the DHA needs to clarify the renewal process and warned that all the permits are expiring at once.

More on This
South Africa Tightens Immigration Laws

The South Africa government on Monday started implementing sweeping changes to its immigrations laws, some of which will … see more »

Copyright © 2014 GroundUp. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.