via SA decides on Zim permits – Southern Eye 29 July 2015
THE South African Home Affairs department is set to review rejected Zimbabwean Special Dispensation Permit (ZSDP) applications beginning next month.
The Zimbabwe Community in South Africa (ZCSA) is due to hold a review meeting with the Home Affairs department officials this week.
The lobby group’s chairperson Ngqabutho Mabhena confirmed the development, but said they did not know the number of Zimbabweans who were affected.
“Home Affairs say they will review the rejected Zimbabwean Special Dispensation Permit — ZSDP — applications from August. They hope that by then, all permits would be out,” he said.
“It’s difficult to give out a number for now. What we know is that 205 000 applied for ZSDP. We are yet to be told how many have received it,” Mabhena said.
ZCSA is an organisation assisting Zimbabweans to comply with the new South African permit system and immigration requirements.
The permits issue became contentious after South Africa set new regulations compelling Zimbabweans to compulsorily register last year.
South Africa first issued the special permits in 2010 to regularise the stay of illegal Zimbabwean immigrants in that country that conservative figures put at around two million.
The permits expired last year before the special dispensation was extended to 2017 and permit holders were required to apply for renewals.
South Africa’s Home Affairs department has reportedly processed more than 100 000 ZSDP permits since October last year.
The permits were given to Zimbabweans who at the time held the special permits valid until December 31 2017.
A ZSDP permit allows Zimbabweans to remain in South Africa and apply for a visa relevant to terms of stay in that country.
Millions of Zimbabweans are scattered across the globe fleeing political, economic and social upheaval at home, with the majority of them in South Africa.