SA won’t renew special permits

26 Nov, 2021 - 00:11 0 Views
SA won’t renew special permits Mondli Gungubele

The Chronicle

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
THE South African government will not renew special permits that have been in place for over a decade to the benefit of over 200 000 Zimbabweans.

The special permits were first introduced in 2009 as the Dispensation of Zimbabweans Project (DZP) before being extended in 2014 as the Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP).

At the expiry of the ZSP in 2017, the neighbouring country introduced the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP) that expires on December 31 this year.

After the expiry, there will be no extension but a one-year grace period as Zimbabweans will be free to apply for other permits appropriate to their particular status or situation, with those not eligible expected to return home or face deportation.

South Africa’s Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele told a post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday that the neighbouring country’s government has opted to discontinue the permits.

“Following its deliberations, Cabinet has decided to no longer issue extensions to the Zimbabweans and special dispensations. However, Cabinet decided on a 12-month grace period at the expiry of current exemption permits.
“In this period holders of this permit should apply for other permits appropriate to their particular status or situation.

“At the expiry of this grace period those who are not successful will have to depart the Republic of South Africa or be deported,” said Minister Gungubele.

Zimbabwe Community in South Africa chairperson Mr Nicholas Ngqabutho Mabhena said they respect the decision that  has been made by the South African government.

“We note the decision by the South African Cabinet not to renew the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits but rather to allow for the next 12 months those that qualify to move to other permits to do so.

“The decision also means that those that are unable to move to other visas in the next   12 months will be asked to leave the Republic  of South Africa or be deported,” said Mr Mabhena.

“We respect this decision on the basis that this is a sovereign decision made by a sovereign government informed by its own prevailing conditions. We are therefore not contesting the decision.

“In the next few weeks and few days, we will be engaging the South Africa government to understand what informed this  decision.

“When we understand what informed the decision, we will seek to work around it and also consult the South African civil society whom we have been working with over the years on the documentation of Zimbabweans in South Africa.”

He said the Zimbabwean Community in South Africa and the African Diaspora Forum urges Zimbabweans to stop making unfounded claims with regards to permit issues as was observed last week. — @nqotshili

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