Zimbabweans can now stay longer for the festive season

| Tariro Washinyira
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba. Photo by Thembela Ntongana.

On Thursday, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba announced that Zimbabweans intending to travel home for the festive season will be able to do so even if their permits have not been issued.

He said: “During the festive season, Zimbabweans qualifying for this process will be able to travel home and return to South Africa without any challenges. Their applications will be available to us electronically, enabling us to verify whether they have been captured properly.”

The minister, accompanied by Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan, visited the Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) Centre dedicated to the Zimbabwean Special Project (ZSP) in Cape Town.

Minister Gigaba was briefed by the VFS management on the process thus far, including plans for Zimbabweans intending to travel back home during the festive season.

As of 18 November 2014, 164 251 online applications were submitted while 156 302 appointments were booked. It is expected that 249 000 Zimbabweans, who previously qualified for the Dispensation for Zimbabwean Permits (DZP), will come forward for the ZSP process.

Gigaba said, “There is a high level of compliance and we are confident that by the end of December 2014 all Zimbabweans who qualify for this process would have applied. We expect that by the end of April 2015 all the permits would have been issued.”

In November, Home Affairs told GroundUp that ZSP beneficiaries who travel to Zimbabwe for the festive season should either come back before 31 December or postpone their journey until their permits were processed.

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