South Africa says it is confident the Zimbabwean government can deliver the thousands of passports needed to allow citizens in the country to regularize their status by July.
The Home Affairs Department said more than 150,000 applications for residency permits are still pending with 116,000 needing only Zimbabwean passports to be processed.
The department is using SMS text messaging to alert applicants of the status of their applications or a requirement for further documentation.
The Home Affairs Department said it has processed close to 120,000 applications from Zimbabwean nationals to date. With 3,000 applications being processed daily, South African officials estimate the Home Affairs Department will take more than 50 working days to complete the processing of all pending applications.
South African and Zimbabwean officials agreed early this year to complete the process of documentation by the end of July. Zimbabwean government officials promised to speed up production of passports, but activists say Harare continues to lag.
Regularization scheme project manager Jacob Mamabolo said however that since officials and ministers from the two countries met to discuss the problems, the process has been moving much better and Home Affairs officials may meet the July deadline.