Zimbabweans criticize SA Home Affairs’ incompetence.

April 10, 2024
image 1 | Report Focus News

Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa express frustration with the handling of permit applications by the Department of Home Affairs. With plans to eliminate the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP), permit holders face the task of applying for waivers and seeking alternative visas to maintain legal status.

Waivers grant ZEP holders, many of whom have been employed in South Africa for years, permission to continue working without undergoing a complete immigration process. However, several applicants report receiving waiver letters with inaccuracies in their personal details, job descriptions, and employer information.

Despite having legal status, these individuals possess incorrect documentation, leading to concerns about potential repercussions from Home Affairs. The errors on the waivers, such as misidentifying job titles, have serious implications for visa applications, as any discrepancies may lead to rejection, rendering the non-refundable visa fee of R1,550 wasted.

Moreover, employers face challenges in dealing with administrative matters like UIF claims and tax benefits if their employees’ documents contain inaccuracies. The situation has left many migrants and their employers in a precarious position, unsure of how to address the discrepancies.

For instance, Mary, a long-term domestic worker, received a waiver labelling her as a truck driver, causing distress for both her and her employer. Similarly, Harry, a fruit farm supervisor, found himself designated as a truck driver on his waiver, raising concerns about potential legal issues with his employer.

Despite efforts to rectify these errors through VFS Global, the immigration agency handling applications, many individuals have yet to receive corrected documentation. The persistence of these issues has fuelled speculation among Zimbabweans that such errors may be intentional on the part of Home Affairs.

Efforts to obtain comment from Home Affairs spokespersons regarding these concerns have been ongoing since January 9, with no response received as of yet.