JOHANNESBURG – THE media briefing was to give an update on the Zimbabwean Special Permit application process which opened on 1 October 2014.
This was after the Department of Home Affairs had announced the introduction of this new special permit, on 12 August 2014, for DZP permit-holders who wished to remain in South Africa after the expiry of their old permits.
The Department introduced the new Zimbabwean special permit to document Zimbabwean nationals whose stay in South Africa was normalized through the permits issued, from 2010, in terms of the old Dispensation for Zimbabweans Project (DZP).
The Department has engaged VFS Global, as a partner, to receive the applications. VFS Global started receiving applications, online, on the 1st of October 2014.
The Zimbabwean Special Permit application process closed officially on 31 December 2014, the day that also marked the expiry of the old Dispensation for Zimbabweans Project, including for those permits whose expiry dates were beyond 31 December 2014.
Regarding the breakdown of applications, we wish to announce that, as of 13 March 2015, 208 967 applications were submitted online, to VFS.
A total of 206 939 applicants booked appointments with VFS for interviews, 2 028 applicants have not booked appointments with VFS, and have till 31 March 2015 to do so, which is the closing date.
162 256 applications have been done at VFS, 50% of these have been adjudicated by the DHA. We have adjudicated 83 009 applications to be exact.
It is anticipated that the adjudication and the handing out of outcomes would be finalisedby the end of August 2015.
The process has benefitted from the partnership the DHA had established with VFS Global in the quest for efficiency and better service.
It was supported in large measure by the ten ZSP centres VFS Global established to facilitate ZSP permit applications.
We therefore thank VFS Global for the sterling work it had done in this regard, as well as our officials in the permitting section.
The ZSP will allow permit-holders to live, work, conduct business, study and financially transact in South Africa for the duration of the permit.
The Department has also met with SABRIC (South African Banking Risk Information Centre) to ensure issues around the accounts of applicants are resolved.
The ZSP will be valid until 31 December 2017.
We had allowed eligible Zimbabwean nationals in possession of the old DZP permits to be in the country and to travel between our two countries, without being declared undesirable or arrested for being illegal, until their application process had been finalized, and had been issued with their new ZSP permits.
The requirements for the new ZSP included: A valid Zimbabwean passport; Proof of employment/proof of business registration/proof of registration from a learning institution and a DZP reference number that had to be used for lodging the ZSP application online.
The Department of Home Affairs remains committed to deliver high-quality service to clients better to advance the goal of building a professional department, using cutting-edge technology, offering excellent, world-class services, in a highly secure environment. – SA Ministry of Home Affairs