The minister of Home Affairs, Mr Malusi Gigaba, on Tuesday made remarks that settled the nerves of many Zimbabweans resident and working in South Africa to the effect that the Dispensation of Zimbabweans Project (DZP ) permits would effectively be renewed for a further three years.
In his speech, which was presented in Pretoria, Minister Gigaba related that back in April, 2009, the department of Home Affairs had approved the dispensation for several reasons which included regularizing the stay of many illegal Zimbabweans in South Africa, reduce pressure on the asylum and refugee system as well as to give amnesty to those Zimbabweans who had obtained South African identity booklets illegally. He also told those present that out of a total of 295 000 Zimbabweans who had applied for the permits, a little over 240 000 were successful, the balance being denied for various reasons including lack of passports as well as not being able to fulfill the requirements.
Moving on to the anticipated information, Malusi Gigaba said that the DZP permits would all expire on 31 December, 2014 meaning that those that expired before that date would be delayed to this date and those that have an expiry date in 2015 would be brought forward to the end of this year. The minister also announced the creation of the Zimbabwe Special Dispensation Permit (ZSP), adding that those holders of the DZP who wished to remain in the Republic after this expiry date would have to apply for these new permits. He, however added that there were conditions to the approval of the new permit. Generally, the conditions would include the availability of a valid passport, evidence of employment, business or accredited study as well as a clear criminal record. The application for these permits would open on the 1st of October and close on the 31st of December, 2014, the minister said.
Minister Gigaba informed the listeners that the whole process of applying for the ZSP would be handled by the departments’ partner, VFS, with the department coming in with an adjudication role. The minister further reminded those interested in the process that the application would commence on line and end with booking a face to face interview process. He added that those applying would be charged an administration fee, which would be communicated once it had been decided. He further informed Zimbabweans that at the end of the three years, they would need to go back to their country to apply for mainstream visas or permits.