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Immigration policy

Less than a month before nearly 250 000 Zimbabweans face deportation, the SA government remains numb

The Zimbabwean Exemption Permit Holders Association, representing roughly 250 000 Zimbabweans in SA are facing deportation as their permits are set to expire in November.

It is understood that the representative of that group is asking the court to direct the Minister of Home Affairs to issue them with SA ID documents because they are permanent residents of SA in terms of the Immigration Act read together with the Identification Act.

For more than 10 years the holders of the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits have known no home other than South Africa and hence qualify to be awarded permeant residence.

In April 2009, the cabinet approved what was known as the Dispensation of Zimbabweans Project (DZP), allowing permit holders to conduct a business, study, and work in South Africa.

Those permits started expiring in December 2014, prompting Home Affairs to introduce a new permit scheme called the Zimbabwean Special Dispensation Permits.

The new permits which were valid for three years were renewed again in 2017 also valid for four years which means that they are set to expire in December 2021. 

Sources:

https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/south-africa/zimbabweans-ask-gauteng-high-court-to-declare-them-permanent-residents

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