‘SA inspired by of Zim refugees’ response’

2010-10-04 14:59

Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Monday welcomed the positive response from undocumented Zimbabwean refugees to the current drive to regularise their stay in South Africa.

The minister told the 61st executive meeting of the UN High Commission for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland that the initiative was the start of a process to document all nationals from neighbouring countries living in South Africa.

“We are inspired by the large volumes of Zimbabwean nationals who have turned up at our offices, taking advantage of the South African government’s offer to regularise their stay, live in dignity in South Africa and to end the misery of living under the cloud of uncertainty and vulnerability,” she said.

The Cabinet last month decided to end the special dispensation for Zimbabwean nationals introduced in April last year in response to the political turmoil in the neighbouring state.

On September 20, home affairs then started the process of regularising the unknown number of Zimbabweans who crossed into the country during recent years.

Pretoria is offering amnesty to all Zimbabweans with fraudulent South African documents, on condition that they hand these in to the department’s regional offices before December 31.

They then have to apply for permits that enable them to legally reside in South Africa.

Human rights groups have urged the state to extend the deadline but Dlamini-Zuma indicated that this would not happen.

“This offer will end on December 31 this year,” she said.

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