Home Affairs concludes adjudication of applications from Zimbabwean nationals
1 Sep 2011
Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, today Monday, 1 August confirms that the department has met its own internal deadline of adjudicating all 275 762 applications for work, study and business permits from undocumented Zimbabwean nationals which were submitted by 31 December 2010.
Minister Dlamini Zuma reiterates her gratitude to all Zimbabwean nationals who took time from their schedules to take advantage of the offer from the South African government to legalise their stay in South Africa including applying for amnesty by returning fraudulently acquired South African documents to the department.
The success of the adjudication process, has been largely due to the co-operation the department has received from Zimbabweans living in South Africa in general and the South Africa - Zimbabwean Stakeholder Forum in particular encompassing Zimbabwean organisation operating with the confines of the Republic including the Zimbabwean Embassy, Consulate and the Zimbabwean Registrar
In this regard, of the 275 762 applications received and adjudicated the department is in a process of issuing outstanding permits to applicants. Of these, the department still faces logistical challenges of mobilising all outstanding applicants to approach our offices to have their biometrical details such as fingerprints taken to enable the department to finalise their applications. On the other hand, some applicants are still awaiting travel documents to be issued by the Zimbabwean authorities.
With regard to the latter, we reiterate our conviction that the Zimbabwean authorities are on course to ensure their nationals receive the necessary travel documents in due course in line with their commitment to the South African government to ensure we can timeously conclude the project.
Once these processes have been finalised, Minister Dlamini Zuma will, subject the entire Zimbabwean Documentation Project to a review process, with a view to ensuring, those applications that were not successful were not unduly rejected. As soon as Minister Dlamini Zuma concludes the review process, this will have the effect of bringing down the curtain of the Zimbabwean documentation project.
Minister Dlamini Zuma has observed that the finalisation of the adjudication process has been met with overwhelming speculation from some quarters within our society about alleged plans of the government to engage in wholesale deportations of Zimbabweans.
In this context, Minister Dlamini Zuma is on record having stated that once the Zimbabwean documenation project is finalised, the country will revert to the normal processes of immigration in line with domestic and international prescripts. Such processes will seek to ensure compliance with South Africa’s immigration laws and will not target Zimbabweans but will deal with illegal immigrants of all nationalities.
Accordingly, we wish to place on record that no such plans to engage in mass deportation of Zimbabweans were on the agenda of the South African government. The government is bound by domestic laws and is a signatory to various international protocols and conventions, which regulate the conduct of the government in dealing with illegal immigrants.
The Department also reiterates the following:
- the deadline for the submission of applications for work, study and business permits from undocumented Zimbabwean nationals was on 31 December 2010. Any other deadline we announced before, related to internal processes and had nothing to do with new applications by Zimbabweans. Following the deadline of 31 December 2010, no new applications for work, business and study permits in terms of the Zimbabwe Documentation Project are or will be accepted
- the completion of the adjudication of all applications for permits is in line with the Department’s committment to finalise the process by the end of July 2011. This follows discussions between Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and her Zimbabwean counterparts in February this year in Pretoria
- the department will continue to dispatch permits to those applicants who have not yet received them by informing via sms
- we appeal to those who have applied for amnesty, to contact their nearest Home Affairs offices to complete their amnesty confirmation forms which will enable the department to create the necessary data-base link with financial and/or banking institutions
The Department reiterates its view that the majority of Zimbabwean citizens living in South Africa are law abiding citizens who wanted to comply with South Africa’s immigration laws hence the high turn-out at our offices before the deadline of the 31 December 2010. For this, South Africa remains forever grateful. However, those who have failed to take advantage of this process will indeed in due course, face the full consequence of South Africa’s immigration laws once the process is finalised.
Cell: 082 990 4853
Source: Department of Home Affiars
Issued by: Department of Home Affairs
1 Sep 2011
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