ZEP Extension Welcomed By Zim Immigration Federation, ActionSA Says it is a Mockery of the Constitution

ZEP Extension Welcomed By Zim Immigration Federation, ActionSA Says it is a Mockery of the Constitution

  • The Zimbabwean Immigration Federation is happy with the Department of Home Affairs' decision to extend the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit
  • The grace period will give Zim nationals more time to apply for other permits that will allow them to stay in South Africa
  • ActionSA has called out the department for extending the permits, however, South Africans say the party is against all immigrants, legal and illegal

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JOHANNESBURG - The Zimbabwean Immigration Federation (ZIF) has welcomed the Department of Home Affairs' decision to extend the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit grace period until 2023.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba
ActionSA has called out the Department of Home Affairs for extending the Zimbabwean Exemption Permits grace period. Image: Luba Lesolle & Alet Pretorius
Source: Getty Images

While the federation is happy that a six-month extension has been granted, ZIF stated that it is not enough. ZIP's Luke Dzviti emphasised that the same issues faced by Zimbabwean nationals will still come up next year because the department has not changed the conditions.

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According to News24, Minister of Home Affairs Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced last week that the Zim permits will expire on 30 June 2023 instead of 31 December 2022, as previously communicated.

The department noted that the extension was granted because it did not receive enough applications for the normal visa that Zimbabwean nationals are expected to apply for to continue living in South Africa.

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Home Affairs stated at the Gauteng High Court that it only received representations from 6 000 of 178 000 Zimbabwean nationals who are on ZEP. The Federation is one of a few organisations that have taken Home Affairs to court in an attempt to have the decision to cancel the Zim permits overturned.

ActionSA says the ZEP extension is a mockery

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Political organisation ActionSA is unhappy with the department's decision to extend ZEP. In a statement issued on Monday, 5 September, party leader Herman Mashaba stated that the extension is a mockery of South Africa's constitutional democracy.

The party argues that the extension indicates that the government is not serious about curbing illegal immigration.

"This stance by the Department of Home Affairs is a clear indication to South Africans that illegal immigration is not a priority in the eyes of Dr Motsoaledi and further poses a risk of a continued squeeze on our health care and social services and criminality in a system already bursting at the seams," read the statement.

Here's what South Africans have to say about ActionSA's stance:

@teamSA4eva said:

"Isn't the extension aimed at ensuring that people have work permits so they can work and live here legally? This contradiction exposes your real problem. It's not about illegal or legal migration. Your real problem is migration & who does it. We've got a word for that."

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@MCMasiza said:

"So giving people legal documents, visas, and the right to be in SA is illegal to you? What exactly do you bloody want to happen?"

@Siphokh59107435 said:

"This backbone of this party is hatred of foreigners, other than that, they got nothing else to offer."

Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi extends Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP) for further 6 months

Briefly News previously reported that Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has extended the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP) by another six months.

The special permits issued in 2009 expired in December 2021, and the South African government gave them a one-year grace period to re-apply. The special permits will now expire on 30 June 2023.

According to SABC News, Home Affairs spokesperson Siya Qoza said the department extended the expiry date for the special permits mainly because of the small number of applications received from Zimbabweans who want to legalise their stay in the country.

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Source: Briefly News

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