4 August 2017

South Africa: Good News for Zimbabweans? Home Affairs Says Permits Will Be Renewed

Home Affairs has confirmed that the Zimbabwe Special Permits (ZSPs) will be renewable under certain conditions.

Ministerial Spokesperson Bongiwe Gambu said the conditions and logistics of the application process will be reviewed in due course. "There is still more work and consultation to be done with all the stakeholders and the cabinet. We need to improve and do things differently this time."

The ZSP project was established in 2009. According to the government news site, about 200,000 people have received a permit. The current permits expire on 31 December. The permits allow Zimbabweans to study and work in South Africa.

With four months left before the permits expires many Zimbabweans were worried. Many who do not qualify for general work or a critical skills visa are not ready to go back to Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean economy and political situation continues to be in dire straits. Last month Home Affairs urged Zimbabweans not to panic and fall prey to fake permits or immigration agencies.

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