WASHINGTON DC —
The South African government has so far finished processing at least 30,000 permits for Zimbabweans under a special work, business and students permit program.
According to Mthokozisi Ndiweni of the Zimbabwe Permits Forum, the South African government has informed them says other applications estimated to be more than 215,000 are still being processed.
Ndiweni tells VOA Studio 7 there are high hopes that all the applications will be processed without any hurdles under the Zimbabwe special permits programs which started early last month.
The first edition of special permits program for Zimbabweans was launched in 2009.
Ndiweni says Zimbabweans with rejected applications will have to go back home and start applying for work, business and student permits at the South African Embassy in Harare.
“It will be very unfortunate if some applications are rejected but what we have been told is that those whose applications are turned down will have to start the whole process in Harare.”
Zimbabweans seeking to regularize their stay applied on the www.vfsglobal.com/zsp/southafrica website from October 1st. Individual interviews started early this month and end April 30th, 2015.
Zimbabweans reapplying for permits are being given a reference number and a supporting confirmation email while they await their interview.
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 will expire.
Following the submission of applications online, those seeking permits are supposed to book for interviews at various centers. The 10 application centers include four new centers in the provinces of Gauteng (Midrand), Western Cape (Cape Town), Limpopo (Polokwane) and Kwazulu-Natal (Durban). The remaining six centers are in George, Port Elizabeth, Kimberley, Bloemfontein, Nelspruit and Rustenburg.
Over 245,000 Zimbabweans are expected to regularize their status in South Africa by the end April next year. These are people who were registered under the first phase of the special permit programme that was introduced five years ago.