Zimbabweans who obtained work permits under the Special Dispensation programme in South Africa in 2009 do not need to panic. Pretoria has no intention of reversing the benefits of the dispensation.
A statement by the Department of Home Affairs today said that the programme which allowed close to 250 000 Zimbabweans to be regularised had enhanced national security and the management of migration,
It had also helped to mitigate widespread abuse of Zimbabweans illegally in the country by corrupt employers and officials.
“It is not South Africa’s intention to reverse the benefits of the dispensation,” the statement said.
Below is the full statement from the department:
Home Affairs clarifies status of special permits for Zimbabweans
Published: 21 May 2014
Pretoria – The Department of Home Affairs has noted recent reports in print and online media on the coming expiry of permits issued to Zimbabwean nationals under the special dispensation, from 2009. This was to document those who were in South Africa illegally as a result of the political and socio-economic situation in their country.
The permits will expire approximately December 2014. In this context, Cabinet approved the approach on the expiry of permits issued under the Special Dispensation for Zimbabweans in terms of which permit-holders will be expected to re-apply for permits. As per Cabinet decision, the Minister of Home Affairs will in due course provide more clarity on the process to be followed and the date of commencement. It is not South Africa’s intention to reverse the benefits of the dispensation.
The special dispensation allowed close to 250 000 Zimbabwean nationals to be regularized through South Africa’s permitting regime. It enhanced national security and the management of migration and helped to mitigate widespread abuse of Zimbabweans illegally in the country, by corrupt employers and officials. The department will continue to combat illegal migration, crime, fraud and corruption. It is committed to providing a secured civic and immigration service ensuring all people in the country are safe.
Enquiries: David Hlabane at 071 527 9463 / 083 399 0125.