With two weeks to go before the deadline to document all Zimbabweans in South Africa, Pretoria has eased the procedures to make sure that every Zimbabwean files papers with the department of Home Affairs before the 31 December deadline including those who have applied but have not yet received their passports and those without any Zimbabwean identification papers.
Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma insisted that the deadline will not be extended but appealed to the police to work with her department and not to arrest, harass or deport anyone.
She proposed the following solutions:
- Zimbabweans who have applied for passports but have not yet received them should apply for regularisation using copies of their receipts. Their forms will be kept until they get their passports and their papers will then be processed. No one will therefore have the excuse that they did not apply for regularisation because they were waiting for their passports.
- To speed up the process on the South African side, Home Affairs are now accepting applications without having to wait for the lengthy process of finger printing. Applicants will be called later in batches to have their finger prints taken.
- Zimbabweans without identification papers should get confirmation that they are Zimbabweans from their consulate and apply for regularisation. Their applications will be filed until they get their proper documentation.
- Farm owners have been tasked with assisting to document their Zimbabwean workers in Limpopo, Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal.
Zimbabwe is failing to cope with applications for passports from Zimbabweans in South Africa. It is reported to be producing only 500 passports a day and has backlog of 40 000.