South Africa has already agreed to renew the permits, but a decision has not yet been made on how and where this would be done.
Zimbabwe’s Home Affairs Minister, Kembo Mohadi, was in South Africa last week, where he held a meeting with his SA counterpart – Malusi Gigaba, in Pretoria, to try and iron out the remaining grey areas of the permit renewal process.
According to South Africa’s new migration laws, a migrant work can only apply for a new permit or renewal of an old one from their home country. However, most Zimbabweans who use the DZP permits have indicated that it would be unworkable for them to do that, and many have vowed to stay put in their neighbouring country even after the expiry of their work, study and business permits that were issued freely in 2010.
Mohadi has also previously stated that the struggling Zimbabwean economy cannot accommodate the more than 275,000 Zimbabweans that would be required to throng their country of birth should the DZP fall under the new migration laws.
“The DZP is a special dispensation and that means special arrangements can still be made about the renewal of those permits,” said a source within the SA Department of Home Affairs.
“Those are the arrangements that Mohadi was trying to work out with Gigaba. The Zimbabwean minister made a strong case for his countrymen, a case that had already been made by other Zimbabwean stakeholders here, especially the Zimbabwean Community in South Africa, which has met SA government officials on a number of occasions to find a lasting solution.”
After the meeting on Friday, Gigaba is now back consulting with cabinet.
“Cabinet has already agreed that all the permits should be renewed, but no special arrangements had been made on where this would be done because the initial plan was to have them renewed back in Zimbabwe.
Minister Gigaba will now do his final consultations with cabinet before he makes a final announcement before August 15,” added the source.
Already, some of the permits have expired, thereby fuelling anxiety, as some of the bearers indicate that they have been harassed at their workplaces.
Zimbabwe Community in South Africa chairperson Ngqabutho Mabhena, this week warned his countrymen to stop paying unscrupulous people who claimed they were helping them with the renewals.
“We have learnt that some Zimbabweans have paid up to R13,000 to try and have their DZP permits renewed, but they are yet to receive the work documents. This is a clear case of exploitation by some greedy agents,” said Mabhena.
“There are also some agents that continue to fleece our people by charging them large amounts of money for permits that are later found not to be in the DHA system when they get to the border and this has been happening largely because Zimbabweans here have had no organization to represent their interests. That is where we come in as the ZCSA.”
Mabhena advised all Zimbabweans who had been harassed at work and at financial institutions to contact his organization on [email protected] or whatsapp them on 0027 83 340 1000 for assistance.Post published in: Africa News