The Zimbabwean Consulate in South Africa has announced it will distribute passports to national living in the Western Cape from Thursday through Saturday of this week at the South African Department of Home Affairs office in Bellville, Cape Town.
This means Zimbabweans living in the Western Cape capital and other areas will not be obliged to trek to Johannesburg to pick up passports, as was earlier understood to be the case. More pick-up venues and dates are to be announced, officials said.
But advocacy groups working with Zimbabweans say they have been unable to question consulate officials on the matter of incomplete passport applications. Many Zimbabweans in the country were given receipts indicating they had filed a preliminary application for a Zimbabwean passport in order to submit an application for South African residency.
Contacted by VOA, Zimbabwean Consulate officials referred a reporter to the consulate's website where information is available on applications that have been processed.
Project Assistant Langton Miriyoga of People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty or PASSOP said the consulate has given instructions for completing applications.
Miriyoga told VOA Studio 7 reporter Tatenda Gumbo that problems have arisen for many who were allowed to submit incomplete passport applications late last year.
Those collecting a passport must present a receipt for the application fee and an identity document such as an expired passport or a national identification card.
Parents picking up passports for children under the age of 16 are advised to present a birth certificate along with their own identity document, officials said.