275 000 Zimbabweans apply through home affairs

2011-01-06 14:35

More than 275 000 Zimbabweans applied to home affairs to legalise

their stay in South Africa.

Home affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni said the department

had finalised all its figures and that 275 762 Zimbabweans had applied.

By 4pm on Friday, 250 633 applications had been received at 42

offices across the country.

Apleni said the figure on Friday had not included applications

received after 4pm as well as applications taken by home affairs officials who

had gone to rural areas where Zimbabweans worked on commercial farms.

Some applications had been handed in by human rights organisations

on behalf of Zimbabweans.

Home affairs officials were now focusing on processing the

applications and so far 42?779 Zimbabweans had their applications

approved.

He said another 222 817 applications still needed to be

processed.

On Friday home-affairs communications manager Ricky Naidoo said the

department had rejected 6 165 applications.

Last September, illegal Zimbabweans were given a December 31

deadline to apply for documents to legalise their stay in the country.

Applicants had to present supporting documentation including

Zimbabwean passports, their birth certificates and letters from their employers

or affidavits from the police to prove self-employment.

Many Zimbabweans did not have passports and the Zimbabwean

government was only capable of processing 500 passports a day.

Yesterday, the People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression

and Poverty said there were at least 100 000 Zimbabweans awaiting

passports.

Apleni said that he hoped that the department would be able to

finalise all applications by the end of February.

Contract workers brought in to help with processing the

applications had had their contracts extended to the end of February.

“We also reiterate that we will not be deporting any undocumented

Zimbabwean nationals until we have completed the processing of all

applications,” he said.

 

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