via Database of people in need of assistance for Zimbos in SA. NEWSDAY June 9, 2014
ZIMBABWEANS in South Africa have set up an organisation to keep a database of people in need of assistance to as they seek to comply with the new permit system now in force.
The group is called Zimbabwe Community in South Africa and is chaired by Ngqabutho Mabhena, who was actively involved in the special permits negotiations four years ago.
Last week, Mabhena said informal discussions with the ruling tripartite alliance, African National Congress (ANC)’s international relations department and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and South African Communist Party (SACP), over the controversial new permit regime had begun.
In an update on the matter, Mabhena said: “Starting from Monday (today), we are drawing up a database of those that need assistance in trying to renew their permits. We have now set up an organisation known as “Zimbabwe Community in South Africa”.
“This organisation will be the one that will be involved in all negotiations with South Africans on permit issues. Please send a photocopy of your permit, proof of study, work (letter from your employer) or your company registration.”
The South African Home Affairs department recently introduced new stringent immigration regulations that would see Zimbabweans and other foreign nationals who overstay being banned from entering the neighbouring country as it tightens its immigration regulations.
All along, those who overstayed were allowed to re-enter South Africa and apply for permits and visas after being made to pay fines.
Those who overstay their allocated time in South Africa would be banned for a period ranging from one to five years. Notices have been posted on the South African side of the Beitbridge border post informing those entering and leaving that country of the new changes.
On Friday, South African Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba said the new immigration regulations were in line “with our objective of managing immigration efficiently and effectively while protecting the integrity of our borders and the sovereignty of our country”.
“We need to reiterate that these new immigration regulations ought to be located within our mandate and the position of the department within the broader government structure. It is equally important for us to explain, foremost, that the Department of Home Affairs is a security department that delivers services to the citizenry,” said Gigaba.
The permits were issued to Zimbabweans in the 2009 special dispensation process to legalise their stay in South Africa. The permits are set to expire before the end of this year.