South Africa has extended the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) granted to Zimbabwean nationals living and working in that country to the end of this year.
The country’s Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi signed off the extension on 29 December. It was published in a government notice on Friday.
The special permits were set to expire on 31 December 2021 after the South African Government announced in late November that it was not going to renew them.
On Thursday the South African cabinet said it had decided to grant the grace period. It said:
During this period the holders of this permit should apply for other permits appropriate to their particular status or situation.
This decision was motivated by our desire to ensure eligible Zimbabweans can regularise their stay in SA.
We appeal to the holders of this permit to use the 12 months to regularise their status in SA.
This entails that the nearly 180 000 Zimbabweans who hold the permit, have been granted a further 12 months (until December 31 2022) to obtain other visas to legally remain in South Africa.