Special deal for Zim citizens to end

2010-09-02 10:07

Cabinet has approved a proposal to end the special dispensation for Zimbabwean nationals introduced in April last year.

This followed a bilateral agreement between the South African and Zimbabwean ministers of home affairs, government spokesperson Themba Maseko told a media briefing today following Cabinet’s meeting yesterday.

The special dispensation would end on December 31.

As part of the agreement, the Zimbabwean government had undertaken to issue documents to all its undocumented nationals, he said.

The decision sought to ensure that all foreign nationals residing in South Africa were documented and their presence regularised.

After December 31, all undocumented Zimbabweans would be treated like all others and their deportation would resume.

Zimbabwean nationals working, conducting business or studying in South Africa would be issued with a working permit, business permit or a study permit, provided they had valid Zimbabwean documents.

There would be an amnesty for Zimbabweans who might have obtained South African identification documents fraudulently, on condition that such documents were returned to the home affairs department with immediate effect.

Those who returned the illegal documents would be issued with the relevant permits.

The two governments would establish a joint monitoring and evaluation committee to oversee implementation of this policy decision.

Issuing of various permits would commence between now and December 31, and the deportation of undocumented
Zimbabweans would resume after this date.

A similar process would be initiated for nationals from other neighbouring countries in future, Maseko said.

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