Confused and Astounded: Zimbabweans Encouraged to Utilize ZEP Extension for Subsequent Permit Applications!
The Zimbabwean Community in South Africa has decried the bewildering delays and glitches that are plaguing the visa application system. Some Zimbabweans are insisting on going back home to vote regardless of visa extensions.
Shockingly, only 10,000 out of the 180,000 Zimbabweans required assistance in repatriating at the end of June. The plight of Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) holders has been affected after a recent moratorium on the ZEP was announced by the Department of Home Affairs.
While the initial due date was a mere three weeks away, the new grace period is extended by another six months, ending on 31 December 2023, to account for the tremendous influx of visa and waiver applications that surfaced the moment the news of the extension broke out.
The Zimbabwe Community in South Africa has urged everyone to apply for other permits while simultaneously requesting that the system be reformed to ensure a timely and fair procedure for everyone.
The Zimbabwean government was highly appreciative of South Africa’s decision. Zimbabwean Ambassador to South Africa, David Hamadziripi, urged Zimbabweans to utilize the extension and apply promptly to avoid any future compromise.
The lack of proactive applications for other permits offered by the South African government is worrying, as exemplified by the case of Stella Chibamu, whose work permit expires in 2023, and the bank threatened to close her account if she didn’t update her permit, passport, and proof of employment.
Stanley Ncube, a Zimbabwean, refused to let the extension impede his plans to go home and vote in August. If anything, the political impasse in Zimbabwe has made it imperative for him to vote and correct the dire situation.
Despite the limited number of Zimbabweans that have requested repatriation assistance, there still needs to be more coordination to ensure that everyone is aware of their options.