New deal for SA-based Zim nationals

Mr Gigaba

Mr Gigaba

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
South Africa yesterday introduced a new three-year permit for Zimbabweans wishing to study or work in that country, ending months of speculation following reports that the country was introducing tough measures for immigrants.
SA’s Home Affairs Minister Mr Malusi Gigaba told journalists in Pretoria that the Zimbabwe Special Dispensation Permit (ZSP) will allow permit-holders to live, work, conduct business and study in South Africa for the duration of the permit, which is valid until December 31, 2017.

He said the ZSP was a temporary bridge to the near future when all Zimbabweans will re-enter the mainstream immigration process.
Mr Gigaba said applications will open on October 1 and close on December 31 this year.

The Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) would manage the process which would be adjudicated by the Department of Home Affairs.
Mr Gigaba said the programme was a replacement of the Zimbabwe Dispensation Programme which started in May 2009 and would expire on December 31.

During the DZP, at least 295 000 Zimbabweans applied for the permit and about 245 000 permits were issued, with the balance being denied due to lack of passports or non-fulfilment of other requirements.

Mr Gigaba said the South African Cabinet approved the new permit last Wednesday following his engagement with his Zimbabwean counterpart Cde Kembo Mohadi.
“The approaching expiry date has caused anxiety for many permit-holders, particularly those who are not ready to return to Zimbabwe, as they contemplate their next steps,” he said.

“While we note the ongoing political and economic recovery in Zimbabwe, consistently supported by the South African government, we are aware that it will take time for her to fully stabilise.

“Accordingly, I announce today, the closure of the Dispensation for Zimbabwe Project, as of 31 December, 2014. Furthermore, I hereby announce the creation of the new Zimbabwean Special Dispensation Permit of 2014, or to use the acronym, the ZSP.”

Mr Gigaba said DZP permit-holders who wished to remain in South Africa after the expiry of their permits, could reapply for the ZSP, subject to conditions which include a valid Zimbabwean passport, evidence of employment, business or accredited study and a clear criminal record.

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  • Drogo12

    Please clarify on whether they can apply for permanent residency next year since they would have stayed for 5 years.

    • Mabhuqa

      No they can not apply for permanent residency. That is why they made it clear that those who wish to stay in SA after December 2017 can then apply under the new immigration act from their country of origin. The DZP duration has been cancelled or expired and a new one ushered in. The initial 4 years do not count anymore.

  • gutter poet

    You can call Zuma’s government any name you like but stupid should not be one of them. Imagine the nightmare and costs of rounding up and deporting folk whose mind was made up way back they will have nothing to do with Zimbabwe….This is a smart decision made by thinking men and women in leadership of South Africa. The fact that this is making headlines says a lot of nasty things about our own government which threw them out there and beyond in the first place.

  • Chimsoro

    Saka tozoonana 31dec17 kumusha, tozogadzirira ku voter tese, handiti?

  • Vusumuzi Bvunzawabaya

    You are right but do you think Zimbabwe will still be in this mess by 2017. I thought with Grace coming into Politburo things will change