WASHINGTON DC —
Thousands of Zimbabweans living in South Africa, who were granted 4-year amnesty permits in 2009 that are set to expire at the end of this year, started applying for their second and last round of similar permits today with most of them saying they faced serious challenges in accessing the internet.
But the Zimbabweans, who successfully lodged their online applications, described the process as painless.
Daniel Muzenda, spokesman of the Zimbabwe Migrants Association, says some applicants ended up abandoning the application process as they were not able to use the internet.
The Zimbabwe special permits program is designed to regularize the status of Zimbabweans living in South Africa.
There are at least 245,000 permit holders of the previous program implemented in 2009 who are expected to renew their status. The current process ends December 31 this year. Each applicant is supposed to pay 870 rand.
Nqgabutho Mabhena of the Zimbabwe Community in South Africa, says some applicants had to fork out money when police took their finger prints.
Mabhena said, “We are talking to the Ministry of Home Affairs to resolve the issue of those that did finger prints at police stations. We know that people paid R60 for these finger prints and we believe it will be unfair for people to pay an extra R70 for finger prints when they go for interviews.
“I was at Hillbrow Police Station and was shown some police clearance certificates that have been received from Pretoria. For the record, the permit fee is R870, R800 is the admin fee and R70 is for finger prints to be done at the VFS offices.”