THIS will be my last article for 2016 as many workers and Zimbabweans get ready to go home for the holidays.
As people take a break, what is most pertinent are study permits especially for those with kids starting school next month.
But however following a meeting with the SA Department of Home Affairs a few days ago, the DHA says it will consider allowing parents ( with ZSP permits) to apply for their kids study permits in SA instead of applying in Zimbabwe as long as their were born in SA and also those born in SA but are not yet school going age need a an accompanying visa.
Children born in Zimbabwe but want to join their parents in SA, will have to apply for their study permits in Zimbabwe through the VFS offices in Harare and Bulawayo.
There is uncertainty over the future of the Zimbabwe Special Permits beyond 2017,though the Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba has said that permit holders will not be deported, he has not been clear as to what exactly will happen.
As the year comes to an end most of us all agree that 2016 was a challenging year for us both here in SA and at home economically, adding to our stress,
The SA economy is still affected by the 2007 Global financial crisis and this has had negative impact on us who work in Mzansi having a ripple negative effect on our families whom we support back home, as it became difficult to send money back to Zimbabwe in Rands when everything is dollarised.
The introduction of the Statutory Instrument 64/2016 in July also had adverse effects as we could not send groceries to our relatives back home and when we started sending cash, our relatives could not get the money because of the cash shortages in Zimbabwean banks.
The Zimbabwean government then introduced bond notes,say that this will ease the cash crisis that is felt in every corner in Zimbabwe. And as we go home for Christmas, there is confusion about the exchange rate between the Bond note and the ZAR, the Bond note and the US$.
We are told that, already fake bond notes are already circulating
Let me once again thank those of you who took time to vote for us in the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards set for Saturday 10 December 2016.
Ours is not about winning but it is about the recognition of the work we do. If we do win the award, it will be our award as the Zimbabwean Community In South Africa .
Some of us believe in collective work and indeed the award will be for all of us if it comes our way. If again we do not receive the award, we will continue to do the work we do,this to us is a calling.
VFS has opened its offices in Harare and Bulawayo and we have been getting lots of people asking us questions about this.
Readers will know that , in South Africa, permits/visa applications are no longer done at Home Affairs offices but rather at VFS offices throughout the country, meaning that, the South African Embassy will no longer receive any visa/permit applications but this will now be done through the VFS office.
Previously this was being done through the South African Embassy in Harare.
I using ther term permit/visa to illustrate that visa and permit is one thing. Some people think that the old visas have been re-introduced, but this is not the case. The term Visa has replaced Permit.
We also end the year in shock after the Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba made Xenophobic comments about migrants and we call upon all progressive forces to isolate Mashaba and his racist party the Democratic Alliance, which seeks to reverse the gains we have made over the years in integrating communities in SA through our Social Cohesion program.
While we can not defend any criminals in our communities, we condemn Mashaba’s statement, which paint every migrant worker as a criminal.
The Mayor should be instead trying to find a solution on how best undocumented migrants can be documented as opposed to his apartheid thinking tendencies.
We know that the DA is home of ex-Rhodies who were given legal documents by the white apartheid regime and now Mashaba sees everything wrong in a democratically elected, black government when it documents undocumented migrants as was the case with DZP in 2010, ZSP in 2014 and the proposals in the Green Paper on International Migration.
For those travelling during this festive season, please stay safe. Do not do something that you will regret in January. Avoid driving under the influence of alcohol and if you can not stick to one sexual partner this festive season, please carry a condom in your pocket.
Merry X-mass to all of you!
For information please contact Ngqabutho Nicholas Mabhena directly on +27 83 340 1000 (WhatsApp)