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South Africa extends special permits for Zimbabweans by four years

STATEMENT BY MINISTER MKHIZE ON THE CLOSURE OF THE ZIMBABWEAN SPECIAL PERMIT (ZSP) AND THE OPENING OF THE NEW ZIMBABWEAN EXEMPTION PERMIT (ZEP)

Published: 08 September 2017

Ladies and gentlemen, good day, and once more welcome, and thank you for attending. The purpose of the media briefing is to announce the expiry, on 31 December 2017, of the Zimbabwean Special Permit (ZSP) which started in 2014, and was issued for a period of three years.

The total number of ZSP permits issued was 197 941.

We hereby announce the opening of the new Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP).

Learning from the wisdom of the finest son of the South African revolution, OR Tambo, we do this in the spirit of international solidarity, conscious of the political imperative to build peace and friendship in the continent and in the whole world.

CONTEXT OF THE NEW ZEP DISPENSATION

We believe that migrants play an important role in respect of economic development and enriching social and cultural life.

We remain conscious of the value of this approach. For instance, these dispensations have assisted in enhancing national security and the orderly management of migration.

This dispensation will assist greatly in advancing the objectives of the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 particularly in respect of the focus on the economy, attracting critical skills into the country and ensuring transfer of skills to our citizens for better employment prospects.

This approach is in line with the new White Paper on International Migration Policy which was approved by Cabinet early this year.

The White Paper on International Migration Policy provides a roadmap towards the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063 in relation to the facilitation of movement of persons on the continent for the promotion of trade, development, transfer of skills and social cohesion through cultural integration.

These efforts will assist in addressing the flows of labour from our neighbours in the SADC region.

This process adds to our goal of developing a new national identity system which will require that, through a secure population register, we know for certain who is in the country. This will help government in dealing with issues of irregular migration.

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