Strict visa regulations in Super Diski

HARARE - From now on it will be extremely difficult for Zimbabwean players to break into the rich South African Absa Premiership owing to new immigration regulations.

Even those players like George Chigova, Milton Ncube, Khumbulani Banda, Partson Jaure and Kuda Mahachi who broke into the Super Diski will have to wait a bit longer to start playing for their respective clubs.

All foreign players in who moved clubs were issued work permits last Friday, but a new twist emerged - they must now wait for ministerial exemption.

New regulations that came into effect on May 26 mean that any foreigner seeking to work in South Africa must first apply at his nearest South African embassy before he can enter Mzansi.

Absa Premiership clubs wanting work permits for players need to prove that the recruits possess skills South African players do not have.

They also need to apply for a waiver from the legal requirement that they advertise places, which takes about a week to receive.

Special exemptions need the approval of South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

Previously, the Super Diski clubs had been assured by Gigaba’s ministry that an exemption had been granted for the new players to seek work permits while already at their clubs - and there was no need for clubs to send them back to their home country to lodge their applications there.

It is not known how long it will take for the minister to grant the exemptions, but the latest additional procedure adds to the frustration of teams.

In the past, some players like Evans Gwekwerere were able to move to South Africa after only featuring briefly for Dynamos in the Zimbabwean Premiership without any hustle.

Now with these new regulations, it will be very difficult for local players to easily make the grade in the Super Diski because clubs will have to go through a strict work permit application process.

With Zimbabwean club struggling financially, selling players to clubs across the Limpopo had become one major source of income.

Clubs like Dynamos, Highlanders and CAPS United have in recent years sold a number of their star players to South Africa, who include Washington Arubi, Denver Mukamba, Nyasha Mushekwi, Method Mwanjali and  Takesure Chinyama.

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