zimbabwe passport 19.10.10.jpgThe demand for Zimbabwean passports by local nationals who have been living in South Africa illegally continues to be very high one month after the regularisation process began.


Zimbabwe’s Consul-General in South Africa, Mr Chris Mapanga, told ZBC News that over 20 000 passport applications have been processed by the consulate and the 41 officers dispatched from the Registrar General’s Office.


Under the exercise, Zimbabweans who have been staying in South Africa without permits and travel documents have been given up to 31 December 2010 to acquire the required documents and regularise their stay in that country, or face deportation.


Mr. Mapanga revealed that a total of 40 thousand permit applications have been submitted to the South African Home Affairs offices with a very minimal rejection rate of 1%.


The rejections are being attributed to minor reasons such as wrong spellings and addresses, but authorities noted that the applicants are allowed to appeal.


Mr Mapanga said that among the major challenges facing the applicants was the inability by the documentation teams to issue duplicate birth certificates as there is no computerised database for birth certificates.


He said the Birth Certificate National Data Bank is currently being constructed at the Central Registry and that those who need duplicate birth certificates have to liaise with relatives in Zimbabwe or travel back to Zimbabwe to get the birth certificates by themselves.


The teams that are issuing the documents under the auspices of the Registrar-General’s Office are deployed in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria, to cater for those Zimbabweans living in urban areas and nearby farming and rural communities.


However, for those living in remote areas, the coastline, and the hinterland are being encouraged to organise themselves into larger groupings that can be visited by the documentation teams.