South African cabinet approved ZSP
The South African cabinet has approved a brand new Zimbabwean dispensation program, amid talks of the expansion of permits issued to Zimbabweans four years ago.
According to a statement released after cabinet proceedings on Wednesday, the Minister of Home Affairs will conduct a separate media briefing to announce details of the procedure.
Studio 7 was not able to reach South African acting representative, Phulma Williams, for more advice on the latest moves.
Zimbabwe Home Affairs Minister, Kembo Mohadi, last week met with his counterpart Malusi Gigaba on the permits given in 2010, to clarify if South Africa extended the permits, after an earlier cabinet decision required all Zimbabweans to return home as soon as they’ve expired.
After the meeting, Gigaba told parliament a choice would be made in the issue by August 15th.
Some Zimbabwean organizations in South Africa are promising that Pretoria has stepped up an operation to flush out illegal immigrants, including Zimbabweans by rounding them up.
Reporter Tatenda Gumbo talked in South Africa, who says he welcomes the decision in approving proposals to revive the permits by the Pretoria government to Ngqabutho Mabhena, chairman of the Zimbabwe Community.
Thousands of Zimbabweans work following serious socio economic problems in its northern neighbor in South Africa.
SA extends special residence permit for Zimbabweans
PARTICULAR permits that allow legal Zimbabwean immigrants to work and to stay in the nation under the Dispensation of Zimbabweans Project will expire in December, but Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba declared on Tuesday that they could apply for a three-year extension.
In 2009, the job issued 245,000 special permits that allowed Zimbabweans already in South Africa, who didn’t have visas to remain and work.
From October, qualifying Zimbabweans can apply for new permits that will expire in December 2017.
After that they would have to go back to Zimbabwe to put in an application for a visa that is relevant to stay in South Africa.
Illegal immigrants don’t meet the requirements
Migration control has become an on-going challenge for the South African government as foreign nationals’ stream of the nation, some as asylum seekers and many as economic migrants.
“The (new permits) will let people who hold permits to live, work, Conduct Company and study in South Africa, for the length of the permit that is valid until December 31 2017,” Mr. Gigaba said.
Following violence-tainted elections in 2008 and land catches that spooked investors, Zimbabwe plunged into a deep downturn that saw sky-high unemployment and hyperinflation
Zimbabweans can be found across SA working in the mining, retail, service and fiscal sectors.
However, Mr. Gigaba, part of a government that’s under pressure to stem growing degrees of unemployment and South Africa’s own high, signified the hospitality would come to an end.
Mr. Gigaba said that the following three years would allow those who needed to return home to do that, although Zimbabwe’s market is still struggling with unemployment rates of over 50%.
“While we note the ongoing political and economic recovery in Zimbabwe … we are conscious that it may take time for (the country) to fully stabilize,” he said.
“People had organized their lives over the past four years,” he said.
“We cannot only ask people to pack and go. We should enable them to organize their lives because we consider the precise situation in Zimbabwe has enhanced.
“A specific permit doesn’t allow you access to permanent residence,” said Mr. Gigaba.
He also paid tribute to Zimbabwean migrants, especially those used in the health and education sectors. “We appreciate the contribution of immigrants in our country regarding enhancing our social, ethnic and economic life,” Mr. Gigaba said.
South Africa in May introduced immigration reforms targeted at closing loopholes and tightening visa regulations.
Levi Kabwato of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said it welcomed the new permits but disagreed the political situation in Zimbabwe had improved. “Politically, you understand that the July 2013 election is still fought,” he said.
“That result will not reveal that a credible election was held. On the foundation of these instruments, we know the election was flawed and had a controversial outcome.”
Wendy Alberts of the Restaurants Association of SA said restaurants encouraged to comply with the extension and the regulations as the sector used many immigrants.
Folks Braam Hanekom against Oppression, Suffering and Poverty spokesman stated that the new regime would protect working migrants from exploitation.
“It’s essential to be aware this ensures stability in the economy and in the lives of Zimbabweans, who reside here,” Mr. Hanekom said.