ZIMBABWEANS based in South Africa (SA) are teetering at the brink of suffering a major blow following reports that the issuance of Zimbabwe Special Permits (ZEP) will be frozen next month.
Impeccable sources revealed that SA’s Home Affairs department was at advanced stages of formalising the freeze, adding that expired ones would not be renewed.
“The department is working on the paperwork to stop renewing the ZEP.
“The official announcement will be made soon and the decision was reached after the influx of Zimbabweans flocking into the country due to the economic meltdown,” said our SA-based source who is privy to the goings on in the department.
The issuance of the four-year permits began in 2010 as SA sought to curb the influx of illegal immigrants.
According to statistics at hand, the number of Zimbabweans on the permit has dwindled, with only 18 000 having forwarded applications for the current one.
ZEP allows Zimbabweans to work and study in SA legally for the prescribed period.
Beneficiaries of ZEP will face deportation should their current permits expire.
The SA department of Home Affairs was not available for comment at the time of writing.
Not renewing the special permit would cause unimaginable damage to the thousands of Zimbabweans who are benefiting from it.
Currently, there are over 180 foreigners who are camped at the United Nations offices in SA, demanding to be taken to a better country like Canada whose immigration laws are deemed friendly.
Recently, there were widespread xenophobic attacks on foreigners in the neighbouring country.