The recent spate of attacks come a few days after South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba issued a moratorium granting Zimbabweans a stay extension by a further three years.
(READ MORE: Zimbabweans can stay, for now: Gigaba)
South Africa’s cabinet resolved to extend Zimbabweans’ permit a week after Gigaba met with his Zimbabwean counterpart, Kembo Mohadi.
This move brought a reprieve to almost 250,000 Zimbabweans currently on Special Dispensation Permits issued in 2010.
Unlike in the past when home affairs officials were being accused of being at the centre of perpetrating corruption, Gigaba notes that Zimbabweans will be served with the Visa Facilitation Services (VFS).
“Applications will be managed by our partner VFS, and adjudicated by the Department of Home Affairs,” Gigaba remarked when he announced the extension of stay.
“VFS will open four new offices in provinces where we anticipate large numbers of applicants, namely Gauteng, Western Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.”
The Peace and Democracy Project spokesperson, Nkosi Moyo welcomed the recent move to extend permits for Zimbabweans but lamented the slow pace within the department.
“There are a lot of people who applied in 2010 whose permits are still not yet out which raises concern especially on whether home affairs will manage to handle the same volume in a period of three months,” Moyo told CNBC Africa.com.
“We applaud the new VFS system as we believe that it will enable applicants to submit their documents online as most of Zimbabweans are fully employed and cannot manage skipping work for days so as to apply for permits,” he added.
Most Zimbabwean immigrants in South Africa are employed in the farming, hotel, education, health and security sectors.