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Zim workers urged to regularise SA permits

By Lovemore Mataire

Zimbabweans living and working in South Africa have been urged to regularise their Dispensation for Zimbabwe Project Permits (DZP) before month-end by accessing the new Zimbabwe Special Permits as agreed between the Home Affairs Ministries of the two countries.

SA Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba
SA Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba

In a recent statement issued on the South African Home Affairs Ministry’s website, Minister Malusi Gigaba said all DZP permits would expire on December 31, 2014, regardless of the time issued and the expiry date.

The statement said most of the DZP permits were issued in 2010 and applications for the new permits needed to be submitted by end of December, failure of which applicants would only be able to submit their papers by April 30, 2015.

Minister Gigaba advised Zimbabweans travelling home for the festive season to shorten their holiday to enable them to file their applications before December 31.

He said the other option available for Zimbabweans travelling home for the festive season, was to file applications through the Visa Facilitation Services Global Outsourcing Company of South Africa.

“All the necessary paper work for the application of the special permits has to be done in South Africa so as to avoid the inconvenience of not being denied entry back into the country,” said Mr Gigaba.

The Minister said 64 percent of the 245 000 applications have so far been received and the adjudication process was complete for just 20 percent, giving an approximate number of processed applications of 31 360.

He said applicants must start making inquiries on their applications as some were ready for collection from Visa Facilitation Service Global Centres.

Mr Gigaba said those who had electronically submitted their applications would be able to travel to Zimbabwe without any challenges.

“During the festive season, Zimbabweans qualifying for this process will be able to travel home and return to South Africa without any challenges. Their applications will be available to us electronically thus enabling us to verify whether they would have been captured properly,” Mr Gigaba said.

Zimbabwe’s Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi said he had agreed with his South African counterpart for the processing of 245 000 permits.

He, however, expressed ignorance on new deadline for the application of the new permits.

“We have adequately concluded on the modalities of both the expiry dates and the deadline for the regularisation of permits. I have to contact my counterpart to get an update on the latest situation regarding the December 31 deadline,” said Mohadi.

The new special permits to be acquired by every Zimbabwe living in South Africa expire in 2017 after, which they would be renewed again in accordance with the laws that would have been enunciated by the South African government.

However, regardless of these challenges, the number of Zimbabweans trooping for the holidays has started swelling at the borders and reports say immigrations officers at the border are clearing an average of 20 000 people a day on arrivals alone. The Herald