Zimbabwean permit deadline stays

2010-11-23 22:36

Pretoria - The December 31 deadline for Zimbabwean immigrants to apply for the necessary permits to allow them to stay in the country will not be extended, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Tuesday.

Zimbabweans in SA who attempted to register for business, study or work permits after the deadline would not be processed, she said, speaking in Pretoria after meeting representatives of the Zimbabwe Stakeholder Forum.

She said those immigrants who applied to be registered with the department before December 31, but had not yet received official documentation from Zimbabwe would be processed.

Anyone applying to be registered afterward would not be accepted.

"We have a database of those who have applied and are waiting for documents," she said.

She said so far about 70 000 Zimbabweans applied to be registered with the department and between 1 000 and 2 000 Zimbabweans took advantage of the amnesty for handing in fraudulently obtained SA identity documents.

The minister was informed that the Zimbabwean government issued more than 6 000 passports and received over 30 000 applications for passports from its citizens in SA.

She said so far she had not received any reports from Zimbabweans who had their applications for documents held up because of their political affiliation.

Earlier this year the department announced that all Zimbabwean immigrants who did not have their papers in order must apply for relevant documents and register their status in the country.

The special dispensation, allowing Zimbabweans crossing into South Africa the right to live, work, attend education facilities and access basic healthcare for a period of six months, would come to an end with the December deadline.

Read more on:    home affairs  |  nkosazana dlamini-zuma  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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