Home » General » SA Says Zimbabwe Permits Decision in August

SOUTH Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has revealed he will announce a decision on the fate of special work permits for Zimbabweans next month.

Gigaba was addressing parliament in Cape Town on his department’s Budget Vote on Tuesday.

“I wish to announce that we are in the final stages of deliberations about the Zimbabwean special dispensation which will expire in December this year,” he said.

“I am mindful of the anxiety among the Zimbabwean nationals in possession of this special permit issued in 2010, but I shall announce my decision in August this year.”

The minister has been under pressure from Zimbabweans living and working in South Africa to announce his government’s decision on their fate.

Gigaba however, said the new regulations were not designed to shut Africans out of South Africa.

“We reject with contempt any suggestion that these regulations are part of an Afrophobic agenda to keep Africans or any nationality for that matter out of South Africa.

“We value the contribution of fellow Africans from across the continent living in South Africa and that is why we have continued to support the AU and SADC initiatives to free human movement.

“But this cannot happen haphazardly, unilaterally or to the exclusion of security concerns neither can it happen without standardising population registration and immigration legislation and addressing development challenges everywhere.”

He added that “risks to any country on our continent have a direct impact on our own country” but the government was ready to engage other African countries about the new regulations.

Gigaba said the new rules were necessitated by the need to keep up with international standards as well as address the country’s security concerns.

He said his government would now work on the refugee laws which have loopholes that allow economic refugees to enter the country as political refugees.

“Future policy development will focus, among other issues, on a framework to deal with economic migrants many of whom have tended to pose as asylum seekers.

“We are actively seeking a solution on how best to separate asylum-seekers and refugees from economic migrants.”

Source : New Zimbabwe