South Africa: Zimbabwean Embassy to Introduce Return Plan for ZEP Holders. It is anticipated that the Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa will unveil a comprehensive strategy for the return of Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) holders. South Africa terminated the ZEP program last year, claiming that visa holders will not be permitted to dwell, work, or study in the nation beyond 30 June 2023 if they are unable to obtain alternative legal authorisation.
About 180 000 Zimbabweans are threatened with expulsion. Several lobbying groups met at the University of Cape Town last week to discuss the imminent legal challenge against the government’s decision to eliminate the ZEP. Advocate Simba Chitando, who represents permit holders, told SABC News that the Zimbabwean government is not responsible for the decision to cancel the ZEP. He added:
The only thing the Zimbabwean government can do, in my opinion, is make arrangements to accept Zimbabweans who may wish to return home. It appears that the Zimbabwean government is stressing that individuals who desire to return can do so voluntarily, and they are acting as any government would in response to a crisis in a foreign country by making arrangements for the repatriation of its citizens. In an effort to handle an influx of economic migrants, South Africa has canceled special permits for foreign nationals as part of a broader review of its immigration policy. It is considered as the government’s response to the heightened requests and efforts of South African citizens who, throughout the years, have demanded the expulsion of foreign nationals who, according to them, stole their employment and economic prospects.