Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
THE Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa will today commence regular consular services including issuance of passports and birth certificates that had been suspended when the host country imposed strict lockdown measures.
The gradual resumption of consular services follows South Africa easing of lockdown measures to level 2.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, two weeks ago announced that his country was moving to lockdown level 2 removing nearly all the restrictions to industries with effect from last Monday.
The development is likely to benefit scores of Zimbabweans whose passports had expired and that was likely to affect their legal stay in the neighbouring country.
Consular General at the Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa Mrs Melody Chaurura in a public notice dated August 20, said the gradual resumption of consulate services is in line with easing of lockdown in South Africa.
Mrs Chaurura said strict Covid-19 prevention protocols will be followed inclusive of online booking for those who would be attended at the Consulate.
“Reference is made to the consulate public notice issued on June 3, 2020 and to earlier public notices relating to the suspension of regular consular services since the beginning of the lockdown in South Africa.
Members of the public are hereby advised that the Consulate will embark on a gradual restoration of all consular services, including the processing of passports and birth certificate applications for Zimbabwean nationals resident in South Africa, with effect from Monday 24, August 2020,” said Mrs Chaurura.
“In order to protect both members of staff and valued clients from contracting coronavirus and in conformity with the host country’s regulations, the following procedures will apply: all clients will be served strictly by appointment between 9AM and 12:30PM during weekdays. The booking system is designed to ensure that clients do not exceed the allowable congregation thresholds at the consulate, as set by the host Government under social distancing protocols.”
She said members of the public can book appointments through the country’s website www.zimbabweconsulate.co.za and Facebook Page, Zimbabwe consulate Boeing Road Bedfordview.
Mrs Chaurura said a maximum of 75 clients will be assisted per day and the selection of clients would be on first come and first served basis.
“The confirmation of appointments should be presented at the security checkpoints in order to be granted passage into the premises. Please take note of the following: time slots are neither interchangeable nor transferable. Clients are therefore advised to strictly adhere to the allocated time slots. Clients who show up at the consulate without a confirmation of appointment will not be allowed into the premises. Clearance for the repatriation of human remains for burial in Zimbabwe will continue to be strictly processed via the existing electronic platforms,” said Mrs Chaurura.
She urged the public to continue communicating with the consulate using platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, emails for other issues. — @nqotshili