HARARE, July 29 — Zimbabwe’s Home Affairs (Interior) Minister, Kembo Mohadi, will meet his South African counterpart next Thursday over the status of permits for Zimbabweans living and working in that neighbouring country.
There have been reports that Zimbabweans, who received a special dispensation two years ago to allow them to become documented work seekers in South Africa, would be deported when their permits expired in December this year.
The reports also said that most Zimbabweans are in South Africa illegally after their passports expired or they crossed the border without the necessary documents through the assistance of illegal immigration
agents known as omalayitsha.
Mohadi, however, said his Ministry had not received any correspondence from the South African government to say that permits had expired and what would happen to Zimbabweans living and working there.
“They have not said anything. But we got it through the media and other quarters that the permits are going to expire and they are not going to be renewed,” he said here Monday. “Because we are so pro-people when we heard about that we decided to ask the South African authorities.”
He said South Africa had agreed to meet Zimbabwean authorities on the matter next week. “We have been trying to engage them. He (South African Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba) has since allowed us to have a conversation on Thursday next week. So we will be going there and from that meeting we will have something to tell the nation,” said Mohadi.
The South African government is on record as saying the permit system enabled it to enhance national security and the management of migration and assisted in mitigating widespread abuse of Zimbabweans by unscrupulous employers and corrupt officials.
Zimbabweans received a special dispensation two years ago to allow them to become documented work seekers and it expires at the end of this year.
SOURCE: NEW ZIANA