Addressing media in Pretoria this Tuesday, Gigaba noted that Zimbabwean nationals were becoming ‘anxious’ as their permits were beginning to expire without clear indications of them being renewed.
“While we note the ongoing political and economic recovery in Zimbabwe, consistently supported by the South African government, we are aware that it will take time for her to fully stabilise,” noted Gigaba.
“South Africa recognises itself as an integral part of the African continent and therefore understands its national interest as being intrinsically linked to Africa’s stability, unity, and prosperity.”
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The Home Affairs minister added that his department in consultation with the cabinet had resolved to extend the stay of Zimbabweans in the country up to 2017.
He added that while the country’s northern neighbour still grappled with recovery, South Africa had resolved to extend permits.
“We are aware that Zimbabwe will need this rich human capital to further advance its own development, but accept that for the time being, many DZP permit-holders would prefer to continue their stay in South Africa,” read the Home Affairs statement.
“It is in this context, that in recent weeks I have taken note of this anxiety and promised to outline a way forward, after consultation with cabinet.”
The department noted that Zimbabweans currently under the dispensation permits issued in 2010 who wish to remain in South Africa after the expiry of their permits, can reapply for the Zimbabwe Special Permits (ZSP), subject to certain conditions.
Gigaba noted that South Africa had benefited from skilled professionals from Zimbabwe largely in the health and education sectors.
“Zimbabweans have made notable contributions in our education and health sectors for example as teachers and health professionals, and in many other sectors.”
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“These conditions include, but are not limited to: a valid Zimbabwean passport; evidence of employment, business or accredited study; and a clear criminal record.”
The Home Affairs’ Visa & Permit Facilitation Centres (VFS) will open four new offices in provinces where the country anticipate large numbers of applicants, namely Gauteng, Western Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.