By Tafadzwa Mpofu
The Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa is expected to launch a strategic plan for the return of the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) holders.
South Africa cancelled the ZEP facility last year stating that holders will not be allowed to reside, work or learn in that country beyond 30 June 2023 if they cannot find alternative legal permission to live there.
About 180 000 Zimbabweans face deportation.
Several lobby groups met last week at the University of Cape Town to discuss the upcoming court bid to oppose the government’s decision to scrap the ZEP.
A lawyer representing permit holders, Advocate Simba Chitando, told SABC News that the Zimbabwean government is not responsible for the decision to terminate the ZEP. He added:
In my view, all the Zim government can do is make provisions to accept the Zim nationals who may want to return to Zimbabwe. It looks like the Zim government is saying that for those who wish to return, I got the sense that it is a voluntary exercise, and they are doing what any government would do when there is a crisis in a foreign country, to make provisions for the return of its own people.
South Africa’s cancellation of special permits for foreign nationals is part of a broad exercise of reviewing its immigration policies to manage an influx of economic migrants.
It is viewed as the government’s response to intensified calls and efforts by South African nationals who have over the years been calling for the ejection of foreign nationals whom they argue were taking their jobs and business opportunities.
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