Home Affairs extends Zimbabwean Exemption Permits to June 2023
According to Motsoaledi, there will be no further extension granted.
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: GCIS
The department of home affairs has extended the Zimbabwean Exemption Permits by six months to 23 June 2023, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced on Friday.
According to Motsoaledi, the decision was made to give the ZEP holders an opportunity to apply for one or other visas provided for in the Immigration Act they may qualify for.
Only a few Zimbabwean nationals have applied for visas or waivers so far, hence the extension to allow for more applications, said Motsoaledi.
The deadline has now been moved to 30 June 2023.
“No holder of the exemption may be arrested, ordered to depart or be detained for purposes of deportation or deported in terms of the section 34 of the Immigration Act for any reason related to him of her not having any valid exemption certificate in his or her passport,” said Motsoaledi.
“The DHA calls upon all the affected Zimbabwean nationals to make use of this window of opportunity and not wait for the last moment to lodge their applications as is the case now.”
There will be no further extension granted, he said.
UN assisting SA process ZEP holders
Speaking to Newsroom Afrika earlier this year, Motsoaledi said the government had systems in place to ensure all the applications sent during this period are processed.
The government was working with the UN to process the applications, he said.
“They’ve helped us with money and we’ve hired people to help, even Treasury has given us extra money to hire more people,” said Motsoaledi.
He further slammed claims that all ZEP holders would not qualify for any other visa.
“Who said they don’t qualify? How do they know they don’t qualify? If you know that you don’t qualify to be in a country, why do you stay? They can’t force me to work outside the law, this country is not run on feelings of people, it is run by the law. We’ve got the constitution which must be respected by all.”
Motsoaledi denied allegations that the ANC government was playing to the public gallery by not renewing the ZEPs ahead of the 2024 elections.
With the rise of Operation Dudula and other movements calling for undocumented foreign nationals to leave the country, the government has been accused of using the migrant crisis as a scapegoat for its failures.
But Motsoaledi rubbished the claims.
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde