South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba tells Studio 7 in an exclusive interview that his government is considering various options for close to 200,000 Zimbabweans, whose special permits are set to expire on December 31, 2017.
The minister's move is likely to bring temporary relief to the Zimbabweans since the department had earlier on made it clear that they must go back home when their permits expire.
South Africa introduced the Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP) program in 2015 following the phasing out of a similar program that catered for the needs of Zimbabweans living in that country,
In 2015, the South African government received over 200,000 ZSP permit applications for adjudication. Out of this number 185,075 applications were approved and the majority of them dispatched and collected. Over 12,000 applications were rejected.
Gigaba has stressed that after the expiry of all ZSP permits on December 31, 2017, the permit holders will be expected to return to Zimbabwe as they were not expected to be renew them.