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Zimbabwe assures its citizens in SA

by Staff reporter
27 Jan 2022 at 04:35hrs | Views
Zimbabwe is constantly in touch with the government of South Africa to ensure the safety of Zimbabweans domiciled in that country who have lately been subjected to threats and harassment.

In an advisory note, the Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe in South Africa and its consulates in Cape Town and Johannesburg said over the past few weeks it had received disturbing reports of Zimbabwean nationals receiving threats of unspecified action if they did not leave South Africa, particularly in parts of Johannesburg and Lephalale in the Limpopo Province.

"In these instances, nationals reportedly received threats of unspecified action, including forced eviction, if they did not leave the country by a certain date," reads the statement in part.

Anxiety has gripped Zimbabweans living in South Africa after the South African government decided not to renew the Zimbabwe exemption permits, which expire on December 31, this year.

"The embassy and the consulates urge all Zimbabwe nationals in the Republic of South Africa to be vigilant and to be law-abiding. Holders of the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits who choose to remain in the country after 31 December 2022 must start the process of migrating to other visas early".

Last year in December, the South African government terminated the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP) giving holders a 12-month grace period to apply for other statuses.

The Zimbabwean embassy indicated that it is constantly in touch with the South African government to ensure the safety of its citizens.

"The embassy and the consulates are in regular contact with the relevant South African government representatives on matters concerning the safety of Zimbabweans in South Africa. In order to assist us to effectively represent you, the embassy and the consulates request you to share information with us," reads the advisory note.

The formal extension goes beyond the original decision to let the permits expire at the end of last year, but allows Zimbabweans, who had been holders to continue living and working in South Africa without any formal legal status, something that has generated serious problems when it comes to banking and other activities.

The Zimbabwean exemption permit was introduced in 2009 as a temporary solution to legalise the stay of some Zimbabweans in South Africa, as part of strong bilateral relations between the two sister republics.

Source - The Herald