The Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa has urged all Zimbabweans in that country who are holders of the special exemption permits to comply with that government’s directive and make necessary adjustments.
However, the embassy noted that since the South African government had decided on a 12 months grace period, the Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEPs) will expire next year in 2022, on December 31 rather than this year to ‘accommodate people.’
The ZEPs were initially supposed to expire in December 31, 2021, with Zimbabweans hoping that the South African government would renew them.
On November 25, 2021, the Ministry in the Presidency of South Africa issued a statement on the Cabinet meeting that took place a day before, announcing that the government would no longer issue extensions to the ZEPs.
However, the South African Cabinet decided on 12 months grace period at the expiry of the current ZEP
“This permit, which was due to expire on December 31, 2021, will therefore expire on December 31 2021 on the basis of the 12 months grace period granted by the Cabinet,” said the Zimbabwean embassy based in Pretoria in a statement released Tuesday.
“The government of Zimbabwe takes note of this decision by the government of the Republic of South Africa, a close neighbour with which Zimbabwe enjoys excellent relations.”
The Zimbabwean envoy said its government, “urges and encourages all its nationals, beneficiaries of the special dispensation to comply with this decision and to cooperate in its implementation.”
Engagements and consultations with relevant authorities of the South African government had already been initiated, stated the Zimbabwean embassy.
“… with a view to ensuring the timely dissemination of information and the smooth implementation of this decision, which will impact the lives of and livelihoods of thousands of individuals and households,” said the embassy.
“It is the embassy’s expectation that this decision will be implemented with the minimum of disruption to the lives and livelihoods of the affected individuals and their families.”