Earlier this year we approached the Ministers office to inquire about the future of the ZSP permit holders. The move was prompted by the numerous inquiries by Zimbabweans. It was also inspired by our growing concern over the various scams that were doing the rounds. We have received a response from DHA and it has been confirmed the ZSP will be renewed. No further details have been presented but the process will be outlined next year. We urge all Zimbabweans on the ZSP to ignore any one other than The Minster of Home Affairs of his officials who claims to have a solution in place. Please check the DHA website constantly for updates as this is the sole source of information relating to Visas and Permits. Please see email below

On 11 Nov 2016, at 11:31 AM, Gerson Muti <Gerson.Muti@dha.gov.za> wrote:

Dear Sir

There is a misinterpretation of the Minister’s statement

The Minister did not say ZSP will not be renewed if you can also go back to 2014 . The Minster had said that after the expiry of ZSP those who want to renew they will move to normal permits .The process of renewing the ZSP will start next year

>>> Ronney Marhule 2016/11/11 11:13 AM >>>
Dear Sir

>>> Chief Ntshingila <chief.ntshingila@dha.gov.za> 2016/10/04 02:34 PM >>>
Good day DDG

Kindly receive the email below and advise. Thank you

Chief Ntshingila
It is always an honor to serve the flag.

On 04 Oct 2016, at 08:49, Munyaradzi Nkomo <munya@immigrationspecialists.co.za> <munya@immigrationspecialists.co.za> wrote:

I trust you are well.

I am an immigration consultant and over the past couple of weeks following the Ministers announcement that the ZSP will not be renewed i have been receiving numerous inquires for assistance from individuals on the ZSP. What i have identified is that no one really opposes the decision of the Minister and in fact it is understandable and many are willing to move to the main stream immigration regime.

The challenge however is two – fold , at moment applications for a change of status are not being allowed from a ZSP while the applicant is in the republic and when attempting to comply with this the SA embassy in Harare is insisting on holding on to passports upon submitting the application. This presents challenge to those who want to apply for the visas now and avoid rushing at the end of the year next year.

I wish to just make a plea to the Minster to relax this condition and highlight certain facts of the current situation. I do not wish to imposes my view on him nor challenge him in his office but merely to offer a view point that i believe will assist the Minster in his objectives.

1. The idea around the ZSP as i understand it from the green paper is to relieve the pressure from the asylum seeker system. If the current status quo is allowed to continue i can assure you that many will revert to the asylum seeker system or even worse reside illegally in the country. This will force the Department to spend valuable resources on deportations. By allowing those that can to apply for visas now it will reduce the number of people on the ZSP significantly and should deportations have to follow in 2017 the number will be significantly reduced. The gains of the ZSP process will also be preserved.

2. There is a technical legal point against the current situation. The Conditions on a ZSP prohibit a change of conditions whist in the republic. The ZSP is a creature of Statute , mainly section 31(2)(b) of the Immigration Act. This means that the definitions of status and Conditions as defined by the Act are applicable. Denying people the ability to change the status from ZSP to a visa is therefore unlawful. On interpreting the ZSP it is understandable to want to restrict people from moving from one type of ZSP to another by way of changing the conditions as there is no mechanism and infrastructure for this. to prohibit a change of status however is in contrast with existing statutes. I believe that the Minister in creating this condition was cognisant of this and he intentions may have been lost somewhere within the department.

3. I read in the Green Paper that the Department wishes to expand these Special dispensation programmes, If at the end of the project people feel that they’re trapped and will be forced to leave at the end of the project i do not think other nationals will welcome a similar call as they will view this as way of expelling foreigner from the country.

4. The current situation has also created an atmosphere for fraud. Just recently i was made aware of individuals collecting money and peoples identity documents under the guise of the assisting people on ZSPs with a campaign to request Permanent Residence. I advised those that contacted me to be weary of such a move as firstly i did not see any reason why the Minister would grant rights of permanent residence to individuals on ZSPs and if he was going to do so he would have announced it. But people tend to get desperate under these situations and will do anything and believe anything. I believe that the Minister has a zero tolerance for such fraudulent activities and did not wish to expose people to such.

5. The current situation will also see enormous pressure place on the SA embassy in Harare. The embassy is already experiencing high volumes of applications arising form the current economic climate and challenges. To place a further 250 000 potential applications on the door step of the Embassy at once will certainly place the resources under further strain.

My proposal, should the Honourable Minister consider it, will be to allow those that qualify for other visas to apply without leaving the country. But the condition should be that compliance with the Act must be in full and no requests for waivers will be entertained.

Should the minister feel that the current dispensation should prevail i would suggest that the Embassy be instructed not hold peoples passports as this is a further restriction.

These interventions i believe will go a long way in reducing the number of individuals on the ZSP permit, many of whom possess critical skills and are relatives and spouse of Citizens and permanent residents. It will also allow the programme to end with the least amount of collateral damage in terms of affected individuals and cost to the state.

I hope the Minster considers my submissions. I am at the service of the Minster should he wish to engage further on this issue.

Kind regards

Munyaradzi Nkomo
B.com Law; LL.B (UWC)
Strategies Migration Services South Africa
tel: 011 064 4875
Cpt:021 822 2823
cell: 074 337 0269

96 Fourth Street
South Africa