Government of Zimbabwe has offered a duty waiver which includes one vehicle to Zimbabwe citizens returning from South Africa following the expiry of their Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP), information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.
The South African government had initially announced that it would terminate the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) on December 31, 2022 and later extended the deadline to 30 June 2023, a decision that will affect about 180 000 Zimbabweans residing in South Africa.
Speaking during a post cabinet press briefing Tuesday, Mutsvangwa said Cabinet adopted the Report on the Anticipated Return of Zimbabwean Nationals from South Africa, as presented by Foreign Affairs Minister Frederick Shava.
“Cabinet would like to inform the public that mass deportations of undocumented Zimbabweans were expected from South Africa following expiry of the Zimbabwe Exemptions Permits (ZEPs) which South Africa had granted them.
“The sister Republic of South Africa had initially given the ZEP holders a grace period of up to 31 December 2022 to apply for alternative visas, and later extended the ZEP validity to 30 June 2023.The alternative visas include student, business, spousal and work permit visas. However, most ZEP holders do not qualify for the outlined critical skills visas hence the low uptake,” said Mutsvangwa
She said the Government had engaged the South African authorities saying the country is prepared to receive the returnees.
“The Zimbabwean Government has issued guidelines and regulations for returning residents which include one duty-free vehicle and no limits to personal property. Government has also engaged the South African Government, emphasizing that Zimbabwe is ready to receive its returning nationals, who should comply with the relevant South African laws. Cabinet agreed to establish an Inter-Ministerial Committee to prepare for the returning residents,” she said.
The Committee, Mutsvangwa said will be supported by subcommittees which will include the following functional areas transport and logistics, security, documentation, re-integration support, resource mobilisation, information and publicity; as well as health and education.