Tuesday, 14 December 2021

SA PERMITS : DECISION STILL STANDS : MINISTER

 SOUTH Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has dismissed claims by some sections of the media in that country that the decision not to extend the special permits for Zimbabweans had been cancelled.

He said the cabinet’s position of the permits known as the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit had not changed.

Dr Motsoaledi told the media in South Africa that nothing had changed as announced by the cabinet a few weeks ago.

His comments follow the confusion that rocked the Home Affairs Department in the aftermath of the decision that will affect about 170 000 Zimbabweans who hold the ZEP permit.

The ZEP permit expires at the end of this month.

Last week, Home Affairs Director-General Mr Livhuwani Tommy Makhode issued Immigration Directive No 10 advising institutions including schools, banks, and employers to allow the affected ZEP holders to continue with normal services during the 12 months grace period.

This was subject to the production of proof that one has lodged a permit application at the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).

“So, what was being withdrawn under my instruction is a circular which was issued last week by the Director-General of Home Affairs, which was sent to the banks,” said Dr Motsaoledi.

“It sort of puts a provision on the Cabinet decision.

The statement was saying provided the ZEP holder can show that they have applied for a permit they would have certain privileges…

“Now, there was no provision in the initial decision from the cabinet.

So I said please withdraw this statement because it causes confusion. There is no need for any circular, it’s straightforward as it is.”

He said where the banks have doubts about the status of the ZEP permit, they must enquire from the government.

in the wake of the Home Affairs’ withdrawal of Directive No 10, there have been numerous stories purporting that South Africa’s Cabinet decision had been revoked and the permits would be renewed.

It is understood that during the 12 months grace period, ZEP holders must apply for mainstream visas that they qualify for and ensure that the applications conform to the provisions of the neighbouring country’s immigration laws.

Those who will fail to secure the permits will be expected to leave South Africa by December 31 next year and those who will remain as undocumented migrants will be deported. Chronicle

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