The Zimbabwean government will be engaging the South African government this coming week to iron out the issue regarding Zimbabweans who are living and working or studying in the neighbouring country under a special dispensation permit, which expires on the 31st of December this year.

197 790 Zimbabweans living in South Africa under a special dispensation permit face deportation when the permit expires by year end.

Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo told a media briefing in Harare this Friday (yesterday) that the Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa has indicated that the South African Home Affairs Minister Mr Malusi Gigaba will be announcing the cabinet position on the review of the special permits and chances are high that the permits will not be extended.

The Home Affairs Minister said the Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP) was introduced in 2009 after a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two countries to facilitate the regularisation of Zimbabweans living in South Africa without proper documentation.

The ZSP allowed holders to work, conduct business or study in the neighbouring country for three years.

Dr Chombo will be travelling to South Africa on Friday to engage his counterpart Mr Gigaba over the issue.

The ZSP replaced the Dispensation for Zimbabwe Project (DZP) which ran from May to December 31, 2010.

Only those who had benefited under the DZP programme were eligible to apply for work and study permits under ZSP.