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“South Africans Should Support Zimbabweans” Cyril Ramaphosa Reveal Benefits

Date: 10/08/2022

Zimbabwe's Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Frederick Shava, is leading his country's team to Pretoria for the mid-term review of the Bi-National Commission (BNC), at the request of Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor. 

Shava and Pandor will co-chair the high-level meeting, according to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco). 

"At the invitation of Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Frederick Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Zimbabwe will pay an official visit to South Africa on Wednesday, 10 August 2022 to co-chair the mid-term review of the Bi-National Commission," Dirco said. 

"The two ministers will also have the opportunity to share information and exchange perspectives on bilateral ties and other areas of mutual concern during their visit." 

Shava, a seasoned diplomat, was appointed to head Zimbabwe's Ministry of Foreign Affairs by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last year, following the death of the country's Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo. 

The purpose of the mid-term review, according to Livit Mugejo, spokesperson for Zimbabwe's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, is to review progress made in implementing bilateral programs between the two countries under the Bi-National Commission framework. 

"The mid-term review will also serve as a preparatory meeting for the fourth session of the Bi-National Commission, which is scheduled for later this year," Mugejo explained. 

"The meeting will provide ministers with the opportunity to discuss relevant bilateral issues between Zimbabwe and South Africa, such as migration trade relations and proposed dates for convening the Bi-National Commission, among other things." 

Numerous Zimbabweans living in South Africa are in limbo after the South African government announced that the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP), which expired on December 31, 2021, would not be extended. 

Nearly 200 000 permit holders were given a 12-month grace period to regularize their stay with a different type of permit. 

In a December interview with IOL, Motsoaledi clarified that there had been no reversal of the Cabinet decision that ZEP would not be renewed for Zimbabweans. 

The South African government announced in November that holders of the special permit would be given 12 months to apply for other permits "appropriate to their particular status or situation" within South Africa's mainstream visa regime if they intend to stay in the country after the grace period expired. 

Those who do not succeed will be forced to leave South Africa or face deportation, according to the government.

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