Zimbabwean Exemption Permits extended

By Neo Poho

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has extended the Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEP) for another six months.

The extension comes after Motsoaledi announced last year in September that the validity of the ZEPs would expire on the 30th of June 2023.

At the time, Motsoaledi said the decision was taken to give the ZEP holders an opportunity to apply for one or other visas provided for in the Immigration Act, which they may qualify for.

"This has resulted in a significant increase in the number of visa and waiver applications and the Departmental Advisory Committee (DAC) led by Dr. Cassius Lubisi is now dealing with the increased number of visa applications," Motsoaledi said.

The department, said Motsoaledi, has been receiving between 1 000 and 1 500 visa and waiver applications daily, and more officials have been deployed to assist in processing the applications hence the extension period will now end on the 31st of December 2023.

Under the extension, no holder of a valid ZEP may be arrested, ordered to depart the country or be detained for deportation for any reason related to them not having a valid exemption certificate.

Meanwhile, Motsoaledi is also expected to request that International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor issues a note verbale (a diplomatic communication from one government to another) to the Zimbabwean ambassador informing him of the extension.

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