New permit deadline

The South African government has set a new deadline for the completion of the Zimbabwe Documentation Project.

More than 15 000 permits are yet to be issued, following corruption in the process, as reported in last week’s issue of The Zimbabwean. In an apparent admission that a raft of new measures set early this year had failed to clear the backlog, Fatima Chohan, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, said the department expected to complete the process at the end of next month.

“ We can now announce that all applications for DZP from all provinces, except Gauteng, have been finalised.”

She said her department would try and finalise the remaining applications from Gauteng by the end of September. Chohan said the DHA had made a decision to prioritise the temporary residency permits ahead of permanent ones to avoid prospective holders becoming illegal residents.

“This leads to them experiencing difficulties with, for example, running a business, working, studying, and accessing bank accounts if they do not have valid permits,” she added. The DHA has previously increased working hours and enlisted the service of reserve soldiers, in a bid to clear the backlog, but all that has seemingly failed, as deadlines have been extended without the easing of pressure at its offices.

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