News24

Zimbabwe regularisation not extended

2010-12-09 22:28

Cape Town - The December 31 deadline for Zimbabwean nationals to regularise their stay in South Africa will in all likelihood not be extended, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said on Thursday.

"Cabinet has not discussed the issue of shifting the deadline so the deadline is still there. Everybody must make sure that they cope with that," he told a media briefing following the executive's last regular meeting of the year.

"If there is a need in the future, that possibility may be considered by the department of home affairs, but there is no indication that that issue is presenting."

Chabane said Wednesday's Cabinet meeting had welcomed the positive response by Zimbabwean nationals to make their stay in South Africa legal.

Home affairs offices had been inundated by thousands of Zimbabweans wanting to take advantage of the remaining window to get their documents, he said.

The South African and Zimbabwean governments would continue to do all they could to increase capacity in the various offices to meet the demand for legal documents.

Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma had met with her two counterparts in Zimbabwe in an attempt to address ongoing problems, including Zimbabwe's capacity to issue passports in time, he said.

In the meantime, South Africa had set up a "stakeholder forum" to encourage more Zimbabweans to take advantage of the offer to submit fraudulently acquired passports, identity documents, and permits.

Those Zimbabweans who had submitted their applications but had not yet received the new documents had nothing to worry about as their information was already in the system.

All those who had not yet applied for legal documents were urged to do so before the deadline expired to avoid any inconvenience in the new year, Chabane said.