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Immigration policy

Only 4 months left for Zimbabweans to go back home. Here is what they can take with them

Image: Zimbabweans in SA.(Pic used for illustration)

It's four months until Zimbabweans living in SA under the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits or ZEP dispensation will be deemed illegal immigrants if they do not go back home. Immigration has long been a hot-button political issue in South Africa. Government’s humanitarian approach to foreign nationals created a distortion of what the real issue was, while trying to be politically correct and overlooking immigration laws. Lobby group Southern African Liaison Office (Salo) has condemned Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi’s decision to terminate the Zimbabwe exemption permit (ZEP), saying government was leading the country into self-isolation.

Image: Zimbabweans in SA.(Pic used for illustration)

About 200 000 Zimbabweans living and working in South Africa are set to leave the country and return to their homeland. Simba Chitando spoke to Newzroom Afrika on Sunday afternoon, discussing the options permit holders now have. Chitando outlined a list of what Zimbabweans can take back home. These include one motor vehicle of their choice that they can take back into the country(Zimbabwe) without having to pay duty fees, but they will have to pay VAT of 14.5%. Anyone over the age of 16 can bring in a vehicle, according to a notice by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority. The car should not exceed the value of R700 000. There's no limit to personal property such as furniture and household goods that people can bring back home. These goods, unlike vehicles, aren't subject to import duty.

Image: Zimbabweans in SA.(Pic used for illustration)

Zimbabwe officials say they are ‘ready to receive nationals back home’. However, some Zimbabweans say they are not going anywhere. Zimbabwean expatriates are scrambling to apply for a visa to continue living in South Africa after their Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP) expired in December. Options are for them to go back to Zimbabwe and revive their country. The skills they have are much needed in Zimbabwe. They should just go back peace. What I can foresee is that most will apply at the last minute and clog Home Affairs. They were given over 12 months to apply for visas. They will be illegal because they chose that. The police will have to act on them.

Meanwhile, some foreign nationals were spotted flocking into South Africa illegally while border management officials were catching a nap. It looks like the problem with foreigners is far from over. What are your thoughts?


Content created and supplied by: Mmapula (via Opera News )

Salo Simba Chitando South Africa Southern African Liaison Office Zimbabweans


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