The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) has condemned the numerous social media attacks levelled at Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi over the expired Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP), saying they are misplaced.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the GCIS said the now expired ZEP, which was initiated in 2017, was deliberated by Cabinet on 24 November 2021.
“Out of those deliberations, Cabinet decided to no longer issue extensions to the Zimbabwean special dispensations. However, Cabinet decided on a 12 months’ grace period at the expiry of the current Zimbabwe Exemption Permit,” the statement read.
During this period, the holders of this permit are urged to apply for other permits appropriate to their particular status or situation.
“This decision was motivated by our desire to ensure that eligible Zimbabweans can regularize their stay in South Africa. We appeal to the holders of this permit to use the 12 months to regularise their status in South Africa,” GCIS said in a statement.
In the statement, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said: “The decisions of the executive are never decisions of an individual, rather they represent a collective decision.”
“South Africa is governed by the rule of law, and as such all within its borders are expected to adhere to the law. The enforcement of border controls are applied to all nationalities who try to enter the country illegally as part of this country’s border management policies.”
The first Zimbabwean special dispensation started in 2009 and was called the Dispensation for Zimbabwe Permit. It provided for the documentation of qualifying Zimbabweans for a five-year period.
In 2014, the dispensation was extended by three years and called the Zimbabwean Special Permit. The current ZEP which was initiated in 2017 came to an end on 31 December 2021.
Source: South African Government News Agency