zimbabwe passport 19.10.10.jpgZimbabwe’s Consul-General in South Africa, Mr Chris Mapanga, says his section has issued some 13 000 passports since the beginning of the process to legalise the stay of some Zimbabweans who were living in South Africa without permits.

In a telephone interview with ZBC News, Mr Mapanga said the demand for passports is still very high with long queues still prevalent at the issuing offices in the various parts of South Africa.

The issuing of the Zimbabwean documents in South Africa is being carried out by the Consul-General in Johannesburg in conjunction with a team of 41 officers who were dispatched by the Registrar-General’s office over a week ago.

According to Mr Mapanga, the South African Ministry of Home Affairs has issued 4 000 permits since the exercise began while 4 000 applications for permits have been processed.

Mr Mapanga said part of the Registrar-General’s team which had been dispatched to Polokwane has been relocated to Pretoria where it will start work on Wednesday after facing some logistical problems in the Limpopo province.

He explained that the team in Johannesburg is hard at work, but the queues are still very long and efforts are being made to secure a venue with more space in order to cater for the huge crowd.

The issuing of documents in South Africa started last Saturday.

Mr Mapanga said the Limpopo province both urban and rural areas, East London and other towns in between as well as Durban are still to be covered by the registering teams.

The South African government has given Zimbabweans living in that country without permits until the 31st of December this year to acquire permits or risk deportation.

Over a million Zimbabweans are believed to be resident in South Africa, many of them without relevant documents.

Meanwhile, some analysts believe there is no reason for some Zimbabweans to continue staying in South Africa, urging them to come back and help in reviving their country.