SA to renew permits

The South African cabinet has agreed to renew nearly all permits issued under the Zimbabwe Documentation Project.

The work, business and study permits rolled out in 2010 have begun to expire, and following conflicting reports from various quarters, a reliable source within the Department of Home Affairs told The Zimbabwean this week that the permits would be renewed.

“Cabinet approved the renewal of all permits issued under the Special Dispensation for Zimbabweans, except those whose bearers were convicted of a criminal offence during the time of use of the permit,” said the source.

“There have been issues regarding where the permits will be renewed, but indications are that they will be renewed here in South Africa for fear that if the process is taken across the border to Zimbabwe, it could be open to corruption and some of those seeking to renew them might not feel safe to return to their home country.”

The special dispensation permits allowed about 270,000 previously undocumented Zimbabweans to formalise their stay in the neighbouring country, while more than 6,000 bearers of illegally-obtained SA documents were granted amnesty from a crackdown that nabbed thousands of others.

The government of national unity ended following last year’s election back home, leaving Zanu (PF) back in full charge of the country with a two-third majority in Parliament – making it unsafe for many emigrants to return.

Thousands of those now in SA fled political torture in the hands of President Robert Mugabe’s party, while the economic decline that broke records is feared to return as the Zanu (PF) administration has failed to curb wanton corruption and industries remain dysfunctional because of continued disregard for the rule of law.

Post published in: News
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