SA: Zimbabwe Exemption Permits extended for two years until 2025
By Times Live
SOUTH AFRICA: Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has granted exemption to about 178,000 Zimbabweans and 54,663 Lesotho nationals for two years.
Motsoaledi said on Friday the new exemption permits will not be renewable.
He highlighted that both groups should be given the same treatment on the exemption.
The exemptions issued to Lesotho nationals will expire on December 31 2023 and the validity of the exemption permits issued to Zimbabweans was extended by a minister’s directive to December 31 2023, and by a court to June 28 2024.
Motsoaledi said affected nationals from the two countries will be entitled to apply for new exemption permits under certain terms and conditions.
Holders of an exemption permit will be entitled to work, seek employment and conduct business in SA.
Those with exemption permits due to expire on December 31 2023 or the extended period of validity will be entitled to apply for a new exemption permit and remain in SA during the validity of the exemption permit.
The new exemption permits to be issued will expire on November 29 2025.
The holders will not be entitled to apply for permanent residence under the Immigration Act or any other provisions in any other law, irrespective of the period of stay.
They will be allowed freedom of movement between their birth country and SA or any other country.
“A holder of the exemption permit cannot change his or her status in SA as contemplated in section 10 (6) of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 during the validity of the permit issued. When a holder of the exemption due to expire on December 31 2023 or such extended period apply for a new exemption permit, he or she must disclose and/or register all the minor children born and staying in SA,” Motsoaledi said.
Motsoaledi has issued directives extending the validity of the exemption permits of Lesotho nationals and Zimbabweans to December 31 2024.
He said the directives will be published in the Government Gazette on Monday.
In the directives for the Zimbabweans, about 78,126 of those who applied for waivers and 10,427 who applied for other visas are afforded certain protections while they await the outcome of their waiver and visa applications.
“There is no need for them to apply for new exemption permits as the validity of their expired permits has been extended,” he said.
He called on all affected Lesotho and Zimbabwean nationals to use the opportunity to apply for new exemption permits.