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SA-based Zimbabweans seek assistance to renew passports

by Staff reporter
11 Jun 2020 at 07:37hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Community in South Africa is engaging stakeholders in Government to facilitate the renewal of documents for those living in the neighbouring country.

In a statement yesterday, the organisation's spokesperson Mr Bongani Mazwi Mkwananzi said they will continue to engage in processes and negotiations relating to the documentation of fellow compatriots.

He said a large number of Zimbabweans across the Limpopo River urgently need to renew their documents and were failing to do so under current lockdown.

"We are aware that a large number of Zimbabweans need to renew their documents and with the current lockdown are facing difficulties to do so," said Mr Mkwananzi.

"To that effect, we have compiled a list of questions on a survey form. We intend to use the statistics gathered to engage all stakeholders on this matter of passport and permit renewals.

"Some of the questions relate to affordability and dependant/children issues, which we hope to address."

He said passport application renewal fee for those in the Diaspora, which is pegged at US$318, was relatively high. Mr Mkwananzi said there was a need to revise the figures considering that most migrants had their sources of income affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The official said the state of affairs will see most people failing to raise the required amount.

"The issue of passport renewals where people must personally handover the forms back home or send via someone with same surname is cumbersome and even costly.

"The Government promised to facilitate overall applications via its embassies and consulates, but has not yet honoured its commitment. We feel that this process is long overdue and must be implemented immediately," said Mr Mkwananzi.

Most immigrants in South Africa are facing a litany of challenges and some have voluntarily tracked back home. However, it is not clear how many Zimbabweans are based in the neighbouring country though 300 000 are there courtesy of the three-year Zimbabwe Exemption permits which expires next year.

Thousands others are in the neighbouring country on less formal arrangements as cross-border traders or employed in the informal sector.

Source - the herald