Flaws in asylum process hamper Zimbabwean immigrants
Publish date: 10 September 2018
Issue Number: 790
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
In 2009, the SA Government introduced a Dispensation of Zimbabwean Permit (DZP) to legalise the many Zimbabweans already inside the country because of the political and socio-economic situation at home. Zimbabweans who until then had applied for asylum were encouraged to apply for the permit. Their asylum documents were subsequently retained by the Department of Home Affairs. A report on the GroundUp site notes that almost a decade later, some of these Zimbabweans who gave up their asylum papers have still not received their permits. As a result, they have been struggling to find employment, open bank accounts, study, enrol their children in schools, and get treatment at hospitals. In addition, they face the threat of being arrested for being illegally in the country. Approximately 295 000 Zimbabweans applied for the permit and just more than 245 000 permits were issued. The remaining applications were denied due to lack of passports or non-fulfilment of other requirements. The permits were valid for four years.