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Kazembe Kazembe under fire over passport fees

10 Dec 2019 at 18:23hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Community South Africa takes note  of the USD318 passport fee prescription by the Zimbabwean government as announced by the minister of Home Affairs Kazembe Kazembe.

The Zimbabwe Community in South Africa is deeply shocked and concerned at this exorbitant price!

It is common knowledge that many of our diasporan community here in South Africa work menial and low paying jobs as maids, waiters, construction workers, security guards and so on. To set such a steep price for passport applications at time when thousands of  Zimbabweans who received their passports in 2010 to apply for special permits are set to expire reeks of an uncaring and inhumane government.

This will affect thousands of Zimbabweans in South Africa who will fail to renew their passports as the discussion with the South African government on the future of the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit is underway. Secondly, if the proposals contained in the South African White Paper with respect to issuing of  SADC Work Visa is incorporated into the South African immigration law, thousands of Zimbabweans who are meant to benefit are likely to miss out on regularizing their stay in South Africa. A responsible and caring  government would charge reasonable passport fees in foreign currency.

At today's ZAR to USD exchange rate, the fee is set at R4 655.85 which is even way beyond some of the salaries and wages earned by struggling Zimbabwean workers monthly. Compared to the South African passport fee equivalent – which is R400 with a maximum of R800 for a lost passport, we fail to understand the R4255.85 which is a 1063.96% difference!

While the ministry promises to expedite the application process, we have reliable information these processes are still being setup and we would like it to be known that we cannot applaud the government for doing what it should have been doing in the first place. We have made numerous requests that the Zimbabwean Community in South Africa be able to submit and process applications for any relevant documents from the Embassy/Consulate with easy of access of all provisions (photocopying, scanning, electronic fingerprints, photos). Granting this request is not a favor to the diaspora community which makes a lot of remittances back home in Zimbabwe to keep thousands of our relatives and family surviving the dire economic hardships.

We call on the ministry to urgently review these exorbitant fees to enable our struggling community to renew for their passports so as to manage to keep their stay in South Africa regularized.

Statement by:
The Zimbabwe Community SA
Information Publicity: Spokesperson
Bongani Mazwi Mkwananzi
+27 73 984 0241

Source - Bongani Mazwi Mkwananzi
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