250 000 Zimbabweans can stay, for now - Gigaba

Pretoria – The government on Tuesday said around 250 000 Zimbabweans living in the country on temporary visas due to expire this year can get three-year extensions, delaying a possible mass expulsion of workers.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said a scheme that allowed Zimbabweans to flee the political crisis at home on four-year work visas would be extended until 2017.

"The new special permit is valid only for three years," Gigaba told reporters, making it clear this was only a reprieve for worried Zimbabweans.

Following violence-tainted elections in 2008 and land grabs that spooked investors, Zimbabwe plunged into a deep recession that saw sky-high unemployment and hyperinflation running into the billions of percent.

Zimbabweans can be found across SA working in the mining, retail, service and financial sectors.

But Gigaba, part of a government under pressure to stem South Africa's own high and growing levels of unemployment, indicated the hospitality would come to an end.

Although the Zimbabwean economy is still struggling with unemployment rates of over 50%, Gigaba said the next three years would allow those who want to return home to do so.

"We believe the conditions [in Zimbabwe] have improved and will continue to improve," he said.

Government in May introduced immigration reforms aimed at tightening visa regulations and closing loopholes.

Beaulah Fortuin 2014-08-12 01:36:00 PM
My word! And what about our own people who needs jobs and are unemployed?
Fiwals West 2014-08-12 01:36:58 PM
The unfairness in our country?
Anti-Establishment 2014-08-12 01:42:13 PM
You're an idiot
Joel Mabeke 2014-08-12 01:42:15 PM
Then all the countries must get special permit. Lesotho,swaziland ,namibia etc must also follow suite they are also struggling economically.
Henderson 2014-08-12 01:46:46 PM
I will always keep a 50 rand in my pocket in case i get caught in the illegally arrests and mass derpotation
Mashai Joannes 2014-08-12 01:49:55 PM
It seems as if our own zim brothers r targetted here.r dey the only immigrant living in south africa.there r more nigerians,pakistanis,ethiopians on immigration visas,so extend the treatment u plan dishing out to them too.also not forgetting illegal europeans who r here to cause more trouble
Ferdi Baard 2014-08-12 01:51:01 PM
That's 250000 less jobs for our people!!!! We'll done Gigaba, now that's how you screw your countrymen!!!
Mashai Joannes 2014-08-12 01:51:02 PM
It seems as if our own zim brothers r targetted here.r dey the only immigrant living in south africa.there r more nigerians,pakistanis,ethiopians on immigration visas,so extend the treatment u plan dishing out to them too.also not forgetting illegal europeans who r here to cause more trouble
Mashai Joannes 2014-08-12 01:51:41 PM
It seems as if our own zim brothers r targetted here.r dey the only immigrant living in south africa.there r more nigerians,pakistanis,ethiopians on immigration visas,so extend the treatment u plan dishing out to them too.also not forgetting illegal europeans who r here to cause more trouble
Joel Mabeke 2014-08-12 01:51:54 PM
To all those who voted ANC your party is showing you that it cant give you jobs the jobs are only for foreigners. Reap what you saw , you were promised jobs during elections but after that you get nothing.