Tshwane, South Africa: In a recent development, South African Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced an extension of the Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEP) until 29 November 2025. The announcement, made during a press conference this morning, marks a significant shift from the previous stance, as the permits were initially set to expire on 31 December 2023.
The latest update on the ZEP comes after a series of deliberations and legal proceedings. In June, the High Court in Pretoria extended the validity of these permits for an additional 12 months. Despite this extension, Minister Motsoaledi had previously stated that the permits would not be extended again. This recent announcement reverses that decision, providing relief to many Zimbabwean nationals in South Africa.
Minister Motsoaledi’s announcement also includes a two-year exemption for Lesotho nationals, benefiting over 228,000 individuals from both Zimbabwe and Lesotho. The new permits for Zimbabweans and Basotho will remain valid until 29 November 2025.
Permit holders are entitled to work, seek employment, and conduct business within South Africa. However, these permits do not allow holders to apply for permanent residence or to renew their permits upon expiry.
The exemption permits will enable holders to travel freely between Zimbabwe and South Africa. It’s mandatory for permit holders to disclose and register any minor children born and residing in South Africa when applying for a new permit.