Taskforce works for Zims in South Africa

A taskforce has been formed in Johannesburg in a bid to improve the living and working conditions of Zimbabweans in South Africa.

Hoping to influence policy decisions in South Africa to help Zimbabweans living there – Butholezwe Nyathi.
Hoping to influence policy decisions in South Africa to help Zimbabweans living there – Butholezwe Nyathi.

The team will talk to the South African government about expiring permits issued under the Zimbabwe Documentation Project.

The team was formed following a meeting convened by NGOs last Monday. It was attended by organisations such as the South African Forum for International Solidarity and the South African Council of Churches.

The meeting discussed the many challenges faced by foreigners when dealing with the Department of Home Affairs, and drew up some possible methods for handling the documentation issue.

“Among the resolutions reached was the appointment of a four-member committee that was tasked with putting together a submission to the South African cabinet on the expiring permits,” said committee member Butholezwe Nyathi, who is also the national coordinator of MWASA, an organisation that has done a lot of groundwork in representing the Zimbabwean permit-holders.

The committee hit the ground running, lining up a series of meetings with the DHA and senior officials in the South African cabinet, some of which began last week.

Nyathi said MWASA would also continue with its own efforts, as it seeks to present a watertight case for its members not to lose out on the renewals.

“MWASA also appeals for volunteers to help us put together a strong case and people who want to offer their diplomatic skills or dialogue expertise should come forward and help us engage government,” added Nyathi.

“We have however, resolved to strike a balance between informing the public about what we are doing and keeping internal discussions within ourselves so that we do not jeopardise the processes.

“It is our sincere hope that our efforts will influence policy direction and we should be thankful to the many African brothers and sisters, including South Africans, who are sympathising with us in this process.”

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