SA extends special permits for Basotho, Zimbabweans


South Africa Home Affairs Minister, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa has extended the validity of special permits for Zimbabweans and Lesotho nationals living in the country for another two years.

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Home Affairs Minister, has made the announcement which offers reprieve to over 178 000 Zimbabweans and 54 000 Basotho.

The validity of the exemption permits has been extended to the end of November 2025.

The announcement the minister made in Pretoria allays fears of deportation as the permits were to expire on December 31, 2023.

The extension is the latest twist in the divisive issue of the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit, first introduced in 2009.

This has been subject to court challenges brought by human rights organisations that opposed to cancellation of the permits announced by Motsoaledi late in 2021.

There have been several extensions to the validity of the permits.

South Africa argues it is not obliged to extend the permits but critics accuse the government of targeting Zimbabweans that have chosen to legalise their stay in the neighbouring country.

Thousands more are living illegally after fleeing the economic and political challenges blamed on authoritarianism and sanctions imposed by Western nations since the early 2000s.

There are anti-migrant differences in South Africa as it goes through its own economic issues.

– CAJ News

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