SA runs more than a year behind deadline

South Africa has admitted its failure to complete the Zimbabwe Documentation Programme in time.

When Pretoria launched the ZDP in September 2010, it forecast that it would regularise the stay of millions of undocumented Zimbabweans in its shores by December 31 the same year.

However, with only a fraction of the estimated 3 million having applied for the freely-processed work, business and study permits, the Department of Home Affairs said Thursday morning that more than 20 000 permits were still outstanding.

This means that SA is running more than a year behind its planned deadline. Indications are that the process will drag on even beyond the next six months. Not even the secondment of about 300 soldiers to the department seems to have helped, as the slow pace continues.

“To date and having undertaken various measures to communicate with all the applicants, both in terms of the submission of outstanding documents as well as the collection of permits, we are pleased to say we have issued 255 282 permits,” said Home Affairs Director-General, Mkuseli Apleni during a media briefing.

“We are therefore left with 20 480 outstanding permits. We reiterate our commitment to ensuring that these are issued speedily so that this project can be brought to a close.”

He said the department would “soon” convene the Zimbabwean Stakeholder Forum, with a view to providing final feedback to stakeholders and prepare for the closure of the project.

Only 275 762 Zimbabweans tendered applications for the permits.

Post published in: Africa News

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