The Zimbabwe Consulate in South Africa is urging Zimbabweans wishing to work or stay in that country to be wary of bogus agencies who claim to facilitate processing of special permits.
Bogus agencies have been flooding the social media with messages offering assistance and claiming to be working with the consulate and Home Affairs Office in South Africa.
A fortnight ago the South Africa Government gave the Department of Home Affairs the greenlight to issue special permits to Zimbabweans studying or working in that country.
The decision by Pretoria puts to an end months of anxiety and speculation over the fate of 200 000 ZSP permit holders.
The current three year permits expire on December 31 this year.
In a statements on its website, the Zimbabwe consulate said details and conditions of the permits will be announced soon by South African authorities.
“Fellow Zimbabweans please be guided by the Consulate and Department of Home Affairs and no other third parties.
“Details and conditions will be announced as said above by the relevant South African authorities.
Beware of those who may purport to be crafters of this dispensation. Kindly note that this a Government -to-Government agreement,” it said.
It is understood that South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize and the ministry’s deputy director-general, Mr Jackie McKay, have since met with Zimbabwe’s top envoy in South Africa, Mr Isaac Moyo and the consul general Mr Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro over the permits issue.
Details of the meeting could not be obtained.
In the statement, the consul general said: “It should be made clear that only those already under the Special Dispensation Permits will be considered.
“Fake agents might want to extort money from unsuspecting Zimbabweans and these should be desisted at all costs.”
In May 2009 South Africa offered permits to 245 000 Zimbabweans living and working in that country under a programme called the Dispensation for Zimbabwe Permits.
The same programme was extended to 197 000 people under the Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP) in 2014 and will expire on December 31 this year.
The International Organisation for Migration in 2012, estimated that 1.5 million Zimbabwean migrants are living in South Africa yet only 275 000 applied for regularisation and met the December 31, 2010 deadline.