Marianne Merten of the Daily Maverick discusses the real life challenges of people in South Africa struggling to obtain their permanent residency permits from the Department of Home Affairs.
With the state of disaster declared in March 2020, Home Affairs suspended the processing of permanent residence applications. However, a June 2021 gazetted directive stated that this would resume on 1 January 2022.
*James and Alice, along with their partners, have invested in South Africa – in the case of Alice, the forex equivalent of well over R9-million over a decade or so. They have created jobs for locals. And yet they, along with tens of thousands of others who have applied for permanent residence, remain in limbo.
Without a permanent residence permit, it’s not possible to work legally, open a bank account or even renew a car licence. It’s illegal to drive an unlicensed vehicle. Some might be rich enough to hire cars, but not everyone is.