The government has set guidelines for Zimbabweans returning from South Africa (SA) after the southern african country introduced the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP), for Zimbabweans working or studying in the sister country up to June 30 next year.
The promulgation of ZEP means most Zimbabweans who stay in SA who are not working or studying will likely fail to apply for the special document.
They will have to return home.
Addressing journalists on a post cabinet media briefing on Wednesday, information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa advised Zimbabweans in South Africa who don’t have ZEP to return back home.
“The Zimbabwean Government has issued guidelines and regulations for
returning residents which include one duty-free vehicle and no limits to
“Government has also engaged the South African government, emphasizing that Zimbabwe is ready to receive its returning nationals, who should comply with the relevant South African laws,” she said.
According to ZEP Zimbabwean nationals can continue to stay in South Africa until June 30, 2023.
However ZEP holders who are unable to secure a different visa after the grace period can be deported.
The ZEP program began when the South African government granted “special dispensation” for Zimbabweans who were in the country illegally, many of them having had fled violence and instability in Zimbabwe.
The South African government replaced Special Dispensation for Zimbabweans with Zimbabwean Special Permits in 2014; it replaced Zimbabwean Special Permits with ZEPs in 2017.