THE South African Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new permits special dispensation process for Zimbabweans, ending months of uncertainty caused by the country’s recently introduced immigration rules.
South Africa’s Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba has been tasked with announcing details of the new arrangement.
The announcement would come as a great relief for more than 250 000 Zimbabweans issued with special permits in 2009 to legalise their stay in South Africa.
However, some permits have expired and most are due to expire by the end of the year and this had fuelled anxiety resulting in some losing around R13 000 to bogus permit facilitators.
The new development was revealed in a statement issued by the South African acting Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams yesterday.
“Cabinet approved the new Zimbabwean dispensation process. The Minister of Home Affairs will conduct a separate media briefing to announce details of this process,” Williams said briefly.
Last week, Gigaba held talks with his Zimbabwe counterpart Kembo Mohadi in Pretoria to seek common ground on the permits dispensation timeframe.
Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Community in South Africa Ngqabutho Mabhena welcomed the move.
“We are delighted by this move and are waiting the details from Gigaba.”
South Africa recently unveiled a string of new stringent immigration regulations that would see Zimbabweans and other foreign nationals who overstay being banned from entering South Africa as it tightens immigration regulations.