Many Zimbabweans in South Africa are failing to complete the process of applying for permits as they have not received their passports from the Zimbabwe consulate, a South African refugee rights group, Passop, has said.
“We are concerned that there are still quite a number of Zimbabweans who have not received their passports from the Zimbabwe consulate so as to complete the process of applying for their permits,” reads a statement from Passop.
“Thousands are still waiting for communication instructing them to go for fingerprints or to provide additional documents.”
The Zimbabwe consular general, Godfrey Magwenzi, confirmed that there were many Zimbabweans who had not yet received their passports.
He said the problem lay with the people who were not coming forward to collect their passports.
“I can confirm that we still have over 2 000 passports waiting to be collected,” he said.
“People are not coming forward to collect their passports despite the fact that we have sent communication to that effect. We have done our job and 98% of it is complete.”
The Zimbabwe Documentation Process was supposed to have ended on July 31.
However, the process is still ongoing despite the fact that the South Africa Home Affairs department has announced it would not extend the deadline.
Passop, however, said the process (of issuing permits) was still underway at regional Department of Home Affairs offices across South Africa.
“It appears that the department will continue until the process is complete,” said Passop.
“Nevertheless, it remains unclear exactly when they will complete the distribution of permits, but the project will not stop until everyone who submitted their application is given a fair chance to collect their permits.”
Passop urged employers not to dismiss Zimbabweans that were still waiting for their permits.
“We would like to advise employers to give their Zimbabwean employees time to collect their permits. Banks should not freeze their bank accounts and educational institutions should not de-register students while the department continues to work on their applications.”