Anxiety for Zimbabweans in SA

HARARE - Zimbabweans who have applied for their Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (Zep) are anxious about the slow progress in the processing of their permits.

Without a valid permit to show, they find their bank accounts frozen, face difficulties registering their children in school and even lose their jobs.

The Zep replaces the Zimbabwean Special Permit (ZSP) which expired in December 2017.

The Department of Home Affairs issued a circular to banks, employers and learning institutions in December that, as long as people could show proof of application for the Zep, they should continue to receive services while their application was adjudicated.

However, GroundUp is aware of several cases where banks, schools and employers have not heeded this advisory.

According to GroundUp, applications for the Zep opened on September 15, 2017 and the closing date (extended twice) was February 15, 2018.

On January 31, the department announced that the Zep process, which included finalising adjudications and issuing all new permits, would be completed by the end of September 2018.

But on September 6, Home Affairs media manager David Hlabane said in an email response to GroundUp that the department was currently adjudicating applications that were received before the closing date and the process should be completed around October.

GroundUp has been trying to get an answer from the department as to how many applications have been successfully processed, but without success.

Morgan (surname withheld) applied on December 7, 2017. She has been tracking her application online.

“Up to now, nothing new, almost nine months after submission,” she said.

Cindy (surname withheld) told GroundUp in an email: “I submitted my paperwork in January and still nothing.”

She said she was suspended from work six weeks ago. Her employer wants her to show a valid permit. She provided proof of application and showed the receipt, but she said her employer wasn’t satisfied.

A Zimbabwean man, who also wished to remain anonymous, said he submitted a Zep study permit for his daughter in February but only received an SMS notification that his daughter’s application was received by Home Affairs on August 4.

He said his Capitec bank account has been frozen. — GoundUp

Comments (1)

I was one of the earliest people to submit my application,October 2017, and i received my work permit early January this year.I want to thank the department of home affairs for processing my application on time.

siyabonga - 18 September 2018

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