DZP fight forges ahead

A consortium of organisations seeking an urgent solution to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the Zimbabwe Documentation Project permits has decided to take its fight to the people.

The Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, Migrant Workers Association of South Africa, Christian Dialogue, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Solidarity Peace Trust (SPT), Southern Africa Women Institute on Migration, South Africa Forum for International Solidarity, Peace Action Campaign and the African Diaspora Forum, held their first public consultative meeting at the Hillbrow Theatre here on Saturday.

More meetings are lined-up to gather the views of the Zimbabwean migrant community, as the partners seek to engage the Department of Home Affairs regarding the renewal of the special dispensation permits.

The permits were issued by South Africa four years ago, after following years of extensive lobbying by some pro-Zimbabwean non-governmental organisations and political parties.

“Issues raised during the meeting included the loss of jobs by those whose permits have already expired and ongoing arrests by the police amidst this uncertainty concerning the renewal of the special permits,” said a member of the committee, who requested anonymity because no official spokesperson had been appointed yet.

“It was also highlighted that there are some organisations promising permit renewal upon payment of a certain fee and we would like to warn the public to avoid being fleeced by these bogus operators. Anyone who needs assistance and/or clarity on permit renewal should approach any one of our partner organisations.”

The DZP partners have described as “misinformed” the SA government position that all special permits would expire at the end of the year, arguing that some migrants had already lost their jobs and other benefits due to the expiration of their permits.

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