The government of South Africa this week started to issue documents to Zimbabweans to enable them to legally stay in that country so long as they complete the process by a December 31 deadline.
But a source at the Zimbabwean Consulate in Johannesburg said Harare has not begun issuing new passports to expatriate nationals without them and who cannot file for South African work, study or residency papers until they obtain them. VOA was unable to reach either of Zimbabwe’s two co-ministers of Home Affairs for comment.
South African Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma urged Zimbabweans to take up her government’s offer to help them put their papers in order. The South African Home Affairs Ministry has opened 46 regional offices across the country to facilitate the process.
Global Zimbabwe Forum South Africa Chapter Chairman Solomon Chikowero told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the response this week by Zimbabweans in the country has been overwhelming.
Ngqabutho Dube, secretary of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara told reporter Brenda Moyo that the first Zimbabweans to seek residency papers on Monday met with a few problems, but things later ran smoothly. Dube said issues on the first day of document issuance included incorrect interpretations of requirements by South African officials.