Anxiety Grips Zimbabwe Exemption Permit Holders
The government has reiterated that it is committed to assisting thousands of Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) holders who are living in South Africa as the 31 December 2022 deadline for the expiry of the special permits approaches.
Only 6 000 of the approximately 178 000 ZEP holders have made applications to South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs explaining why their permits should be extended.
The Department of Home Affairs in South Africa has reportedly started visiting companies and instructing them against hiring undocumented foreigners.
South African banks are also said to have started to deny permit holders due to expire the opening of accounts.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador James Manzou confirmed that there has not been movement in terms of the deadline.
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Manzou urged Zimbabweans facing problems in South Africa before the deadline to approach the Zimbabwean Embassy in that country and get assistance. He said:
There is constant communication between ourselves and our South African counterparts on the issue of the deadline dates.
The recent one is the Foreign Ministries Mid-Term Review Meeting of the third session of the Bi-National Commission between Zimbabwe and South Africa.
As the date gets nearer and nearer to the expiration of the permits on December 31, we are making engagements.
There has not been a change of the dates but we are saying if there are any Zimbabweans that are facing those kinds of challenges, they have to approach the Embassy in South Africa and state their cases so that they get assisted.
Any help that our citizens may need they can get from there. We are ready to assist them if ever they are having problems of any kind.
The Embassy in South Africa has been briefed on the situation and the South African Foreign Affairs Ministry has also been briefed on the issue.
More: The Sunday News