DHA’s Aaron Motsoaledi: Children of Immigrants Must be in School

Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi said every child needs to go to school.

He said when he had asked the Department of Basic Education why immigrant children were barred from school, he had been told the department was scared of Home Affairs inspectors. “That can’t happen in any modern democracy. I told them Home Affairs inspectors must not visit any schools unless there is a crime committed that needs Home Affairs. It’s more dangerous to have a child who is not in school.”

“Send them to school … We’ll look at the documentation later.”

He was speaking to GroundUp after briefing a joint meeting of the portfolio committees on Home Affairs and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs recently.

Motsoaledi told GroundUp that the three special permits which were issued to legalize the status of nationals from Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Angolans already living in South Africa, will be renewed.

“The Lesotho permit is expiring in December. I am already in the process of renewing it,” said Motsoaledi. “We can’t stop those special permits if the problems that led to those special permits are not yet resolved.

“Unfortunately the Zimbabwean permit was for four years and the situation never became normal in those four years. We will renew, but we can’t automatically as the department. We have got to discuss with the cabinet.”

“The issue of migration is not purely a problem of Home Affairs as the mayor of Johannesburg would like people to believe,” said Motsoaledi. “It talks to many government departments because it talks to economy; it talks to job creation; it talks to inequality; it talks to unemployment – all those issues cannot be resolved by one department which is called Home Affairs.”

“We have accepted long ago that our borders are porous. We have presented to Parliament before that we are going to spruce up the Border Management Authority. We want to bring that forward,” he said.

In 2009, the South African government introduced a Dispensation of Zimbabwean Permit (DZP) to legalize the many Zimbabweans already inside the country because of the political and socio-economic situation in Zimbabwe. In 2014, the DZP was renewed and renamed ZSP (Zimbabwean Special Permit), which expired in December 2017. The ZSP was replaced with the ZEP (Zimbabwe Exemption Permit), which will expire in 2021.

The ZEP entitles the holder to study or conduct employment, but does not entitle the holder to the right to apply for permanent residence, irrespective of the period of stay in South Africa.

A similar dispensation was extended to nationals from Lesotho and Angola.


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Home Affairs Legalizes Zimbabweans Living, Working and Studying in SA

Over 180,000 Zimbabwean nationals living in South Africa have applied for official documentation to allow them to stay, work, study and conduct businesses legally in the country, the department of home affairs said.

“The Department of Home Affairs is pleased to announce that it has completed the adjudication and printing of 178,172 applications for the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP),” said spokesman Thabo Makgola.

The opening of applications for the ZEP was announced in September 2017 following the expiry of the Zimbabwean Special Permit (ZSP).

“The ZEP is meant to regularise the stay of Zimbabwean nationals in South Africa for work, study or legal business,” said Makgola.

Of the 180,000 applications, 108,485 permits were processed and had been collected, said Makgola.

Meanwhile, 39,089 were in the process of being collected or sent to the various collection offices, he added.

The department has urged 1,932 applicants who had expired passports to contact the Zimbabwean consulate, as their application could not be processed.

While this may be a relief for many, it still denies Zimbabweans permanent residency in South Africa.

The department said it had met with the Zimbabwean Consulate which had undertaken to expedite the passport applications of those who did apply.

The ZEP came into effect in January 2018, and it will expire in December 2021.


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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].