Zim Wants SA To Issue Special Documentation To Allow People To Work In South Africa

Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Permanent secretary Mr Melusi Matshiya told journalists in Beitbridge on Friday that Zimbabwe and South Africa are in talks to come up with a document that will allow Zimbabweans to work in South Africa.

Matshiya said the negotiations were a follow up to Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two countries’ labour ministers on issues relating to labour migration in 2006.

We have an issue of legalising the movement of people between the two countries, mostly people who would want to work on farms. There has been discussions with the South African government in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to come up with special documentation which would involve the collaborative effort whereby they get a special dispensation. Such an initiative will enable people to move within South Africa and most importantly to work and be able to come back under controlled conditions, whereby those that would want people to work for example on their farms are in a position to do it in a manner that is transparent. This is an issue which is pending. It’s an issue which has not been implemented and we hope to get a response from our neighbouring country on that particular special dispensation. Comesa is expected to fund the initiative to ensure that we minimise issues of labour exploitation.

Last year South Africa introduced a four year permit known as the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) for those wishing to study or work in that country. ZEP replaced the Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP) which expired on December 31 2017. A total of 197 941 holders of the ZSP permit have since applied for the new permits and their applications are still under adjudication.

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