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Is South Africa Ready to Issue Zimbabwe Special Permits?

Passport Stamps

The South Africa Home Affairs Minister is set to brief members of the media Thursday on Pretoria’s readiness for the implementation of the Zimbabwe Special Project (ZSP) aimed at the renewal of almost 300,000 work, business and student permits.

Home Affairs officials last week urged Zimbabweans to start filling work, business and student permit applications October 1st in order to regularize their status in the country.

Applicants are required to have a valid Zimbabwean passport; evidence of employment, business or accredited study; and a clear criminal record. Applications close on December 31st, 2014, the same day permits issued four years ago begin to expire.

Some Zimbabweans living in South Africa say they are unclear about the expiration of their permits as some are set to expire after December 31, 2014.

But South Africa's Homes Affairs offices in announcing the ZSP, reiterated all permits from 2010 will expire on December 31, regardless of when the permits were set to expire.

VOA spoke to Nqabutho Mabhena, chairman of the Zimbabwe Community in South Africa, who explained that permit holders, must apply for an extension of the expiring permits.

“All permits like we have always said have been extended, those that have expired before the 31st of December and those that were set to expire next year or the other year have been brought back to 31 December 2014,” said Mabhena.

He said the process for applications opening in October should be simple if Zimbabweans processed all their required documents.

They are required to submit their documents and complete their applications online.

“Once you apply there is going to be a call center number where one will go to book an appointment, appointments are for interviews, appointments are open from the 1st of November 2014 to 30th of April 15,” added Mabhena.

Zimbabweans reapplying for permits will be given a reference number and a supporting confirmation email of application while they await their interview.

According to Mabhena, the corresponding reference number and confirmation email can be used to confirm one's status in South Africa while awaiting the new ZSP permits.