Today's Labour News

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zimflagBL Premium reports that the government has indicated that Zimbabweans have a 12-month period from 31 December to replace special visas, which have enabled them to live, work and study in SA legally.

But, it may already be too late for thousands of them who face losing access to key services in three weeks’ time. That is because of the wording of a directive from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), which may lead to the 200,000 holders of the visas being blocked from accessing bank accounts and other services unless they can show they have already applied for “mainstream” alternatives. In November, the government announced it had decided to no longer issue extensions to the Zimbabwean special dispensation visas, which were introduced in 2009 to allow Zimbabweans working illegally in SA to regularise their status. The visas were first granted for five years and were extended twice. A cabinet directive suggested that the holders of the special permits, which would expire at the end of December, would be given 12 months to apply for other permits, meaning they would have until December 2022 to sort out their paperwork. But in terms of a DHA directive dated 7 December, all companies, employers, learning institutions and banks should terminate agreements and services with permit holders if they do not have proof that they have applied for other permits or visas via VFS, the front-end visa handling operator. Visa applications, which cost about R3,000, are by appointment and VFS could be overwhelmed by demand, which will make it impossible for many to lodge applications by the deadline. The directive has prompted an association representing the holders of the Zimbabwean special visas to approach the courts in a bid to set it aside.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Bekezela Phakathi at BusinessLive

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