The South African Minister of Home Affairs has extended the validity of exemption permits issued to Zimbabwean nationals for a further period of 6 months, ending on 31 December 2023.
The Minister’s decision was made in light of the significant increase in the number of visa and waiver applications from Zimbabwean nationals since September 2022.
The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has also received thousands of waiver applications from Zimbabwean nationals, which has led to a significant increase in the workload of the Departmental Advisory Committee (DAC).
The Minister has also taken into consideration the submissions received from the affected Zimbabwean nationals, relevant officials of the DHA and other interested parties.
The Minister’s Immigration Directive no: 2 of 2023, will be published in the Extraordinary Government Gazette tomorrow on Thursday, 8 June 2023.
The Minister has called upon all interested parties to take into consideration the said Directive in their decision-making processes.
The Minister will also be addressing a letter to the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation requesting her to issue a note verbale to bring the Directive to the attention of His Excellency, the Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
The extension of the validity of the exemption permits is a welcome relief for Zimbabwean nationals who have been living in South Africa for many years. The permits allow them to live and work in South Africa legally, and to access essential services such as healthcare and education.
The Minister’s decision is a positive step towards regularizing the status of Zimbabwean nationals in South Africa. It is hoped that this will lead to a more stable and secure environment for all South Africans.