8 September 2017
Article Credit: Department of Home Affairs
Ladies and gentlemen, good day, and once more welcome, and thank you for attending. The purpose of the media briefing is to announce the expiry, on 31 December 2017, of the Zimbabwean Special Permit (ZSP) which started in 2014, and was issued for a period of three years. The total number of ZSP permits issued was 197 941.
We hereby announce the opening of the new Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP). Learning from the wisdom of the finest son of the South African revolution, OR Tambo, we do this in the spirit of international solidarity, conscious of the political imperative to build peace and friendship in the continent and in the whole world.
CONTEXT OF THE NEW ZEP DISPENSATION
We believe that migrants play an important role in respect of economic development and enriching social and cultural life.
We remain conscious of the value of this approach. For instance, these dispensations have assisted in enhancing national security and the orderly management of migration.
This dispensation will assist greatly in advancing the objectives of the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 particularly in respect of the focus on the economy, attracting critical skills into the country and ensuring transfer of skills to our citizens for better employment prospects.
This approach is in line with the new White Paper on International Migration Policy which was approved by Cabinet early this year.
The White Paper on International Migration Policy provides a roadmap towards the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063 in relation to the facilitation of movement of persons on the continent for the promotion of trade, development, transfer of skills and social cohesion through cultural integration.
These efforts will assist in addressing the flows of labour from our neighbours in the SADC region.
This process adds to our goal of developing a new national identity system which will require that, through a secure population register, we know for certain who is in the country. This will help government in dealing with issues of irregular migration.
CONDITIONS OF THE NEW ZIMBABWEAN EXEMPTION PERMIT DISPENSATION
- Entitles the holder to work/ study and/or conduct business.
- Does not entitle the holder the right to apply for permanent residence irrespective of the period of stay in the Republic of South Africa.
- Will not be renewable / extendable.
- Does not allow a holder to change conditions of his/her permit while in South Africa.
- ZSP permit holders who wish to convert their status to any other mainstream visa should apply timeously for such visa from within SA provided they meet all the requirements for that visa.
- A ZSP applicant will be allowed to travel using the ZEP receipt and the expired ZSP permit until such time as the ZEP permit is issued, without being declared undesirable.
Implementation of ZEP is as follows:
- The new Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) project will begin on 15 September 2017.
- The ZEP is open for valid ZSP permit-holders only.
- We advise prospective applicants to submit applications online, from 15 September 2017, through the VFS website: www.vfsglobal.com/ZEP/SouthAfrica/com
- Cut-off date for submission of applications is 30 November 2017.
- An administrative fee of R1090 will be charged.
- ZEP permits will be issued for a maximum period of Four (4) years, effective from 01 January 2018 and expiring on 31 December 2021, notwithstanding the date of application.
- Thereafter applicants will be allocated appointments for the required submission of fingerprints and supporting documents to VFS, from 01 October 2017. The relevant VFS offices are listed at the end of the statement.
- An applicant will be required to submit the following:
- A valid Zimbabwean passport.
- Evidence of employment – in the case of an application for work rights.
- Evidence of business – in the case of an application for business rights.
- Evidence of an admission letter from a recognised learning institution –in the case of an application for study rights.
I trust that the ZEP will go a long way in assisting the Zimbabweans to rebuild their lives as they prepare, at work, in business and in educational institutions, for their final return to their sovereign state – Zimbabwe – in the near future.
I thank you.