THE Zimbabwe Community in South Africa (ZCSA) has welcomed announcements by the South African government that it will be extending the Zimbabwe Special Permits (ZSP) beyond their expiry date on December 31 this year.
By KHANYILE MLOTSHWA
The announcement was made on Thursday in a tweet in which the Communications ministry drew people’s attention to details in the government website.
Communications minister Ayanda Dlodlo said the Cabinet had approved “that the Department of Home Affairs can reopen the re-application process for the current ZSP holders, under certain conditions.”
“The initial special dispensation for Zimbabweans was approved in April 2009 to document Zimbabwean nationals who were in South Africa illegally,” she said. “Their permits expire on December 31, 2017.”
Home Affairs minister Hlengiwe Mkhize will hold a separate briefing to explain the conditions and the process to be followed once the re-application opens.”
The ZCSA chairperson Ngqabutho Mabhena said they were still awaiting the full details on the conditions around the renewal of the ZSP permits.
“As ZCSA, we welcome the announcement by the South African government to reopen the documentation of Zimbabweans whose permits expire on December 31c this year,” he said.
“We await the announcement by the Home Affairs minister in which she will outline the process of renewing these permits and the conditions attached. We will make a substantive statement once she makes that announcement.”
The ZCSA leadership has over the past month urged patience on the part of Zimbabweans, some of whom have been toying with the idea of taking the South African government to court over the extension of their permits.
They argued that they were not sure of their fate in the continent’s biggest economy and, hence, could not properly plan their future.
Mabhena said they have always had faith that the South African government was handling the matter in good faith.
In January, the then Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba said he was seized with the matter of the renewal of the permits.