SOUTH AFRICA has issued a deportation warning starting this week on Zimbabweans resident in that country who failed to acquire permits under the 2010 Dispensation for Zimbabwe Project (DZP). The country’s Home Affairs director-general Mr Mkuseli Apleni yesterday said the imminent move to deport Zimbabweans was in line with the new immigration regulations.
“We want to make it categorically clear that all Zimbabweans who failed to acquire permits in 2010 during the DZP will with effect from October be deported from our country,” said Apleni.
“We have a list of about 242 000 Zimbabweans who benefited in 2010 under that programme and they are eligible to apply for work and study permits under the new Zimbabwe Special Permits (ZSP) programme.”
He added: “The rest are illegal immigrants and we’re saying there is no reason why they (undocumented Zimbabweans) should remain in the country because our law is very clear.
“Any foreigner found in our country without a proper permit or travel document is an illegal immigrant and will be deported forthwith and this does not only apply to Zimbabweans, but all foreign nationalities.”
The latest move by South Africa means that at least 50 000 Zimbabweans with pending applications under the DPZ would be affected, together with thousands of illegal immigrants resident in different provinces there.
South African Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba last Thursday announced his government would start accepting permit applications for the 245 000 Zimbabweans who benefited under DZP, starting October 1 as part of the new ZSP programme that was effected in August.
Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi had to re-engage his South African counterpart over the issue, which subsequently culminated in the extension of the permits to December 2017.
The applications for the ZSP permits would be done online and the fee is pegged at R870.
“As the Department of Home Affairs, we’ll begin accepting applications via the website for the ZSP on October 1, 2014. We would like to take this opportunity to update stakeholders and the public on the implementation of the ZSP,” said Gigaba.
“As explained then, only the approximately 245 000 holders of the DZP are eligible to apply for the ZSP.”
South Africa in August announced the establishment of the ZSP of 2014 allowing Zimbabwean holders of the special permit to work, conduct business or study in South Africa for three years, until the end of December 2017, ending months of speculation and anxiety among many permit-holders, following reports that the country was introducing tough measures for immigrants.
In June, Gigaba announced that VFS Global, a worldwide outsourcing and technology services specialist for diplomatic missions and governments, had been appointed to receive and manage visa and permit applications in South Africa.
The website address to be used when lodging applications will be http://www.vfsglobal.com/zsp/southafrica.