passport fees slashed 08-09-10.jpgWith just three days to go before the expiry of the timeframe in which Zimbabweans who were living in South Africa without proper documents were expected to regularise their stay, hundreds of Zimbabweans are still to receive the permits they applied for at the South African Home Affairs department.

According to reports emanating from South Africa, some Zimbabweans who applied for various permits at the South African Home Affairs department are still to receive the documents.

The Zimbabweans’ documents project was launched by the South African government last year and Zimbabweans who had illegally crossed into that country or those who had no permits to stay in that country were allowed to acquire the required documents without facing deportation or prosecution.

Even those who had forged the work permits and other documents were also encouraged to surrender their illegal documents without facing arrest.

Some affected individuals who spoke to ZBC from South Africa said long queues could still be seen meandering along Harrison Street which leads to the South African Home Affairs department.

The freeze on deportations to Zimbabwe, which has been in place since April 2009, will be lifted on 31 July, 2011.

It was also announced this week that South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs does not have enough workforce to deal with the overwhelming demand for work permits.

Home Affairs officials confirmed there had been a surge in the number of such applications in recent weeks, much to the detriment of service delivery.

Some Zimbabweans fear that the authorities may not meet the 31st of July deadline and that this may result in their deportation.

The Zimbabwean government says they have processed some 275 000 passports for the country’s citizens in South Africa.