The South African Government on Thursday announced that it will not renew the special permits for Zimbabweans.
The development was confirmed by the Minister in the Presidency ,Mondli Gungubele, who spoke soon after a Cabinet meeting on Thursday.
However, Pretoria decided to give a 12 months grace period during which holders of the special permits should apply for other permits appropriate to their particular status or situation.
“Following its deliberations, government decided to no longer issue extensions to the Zimbabweans’ exemption and special dispensations,” Gungubele said.
He added: “However, cabinet decided on a 12 months grace period at the expiry of the current Zimbabwe Exemption Permits. During this period, holders of this permit should apply to other permits appropriate to their particular status or situation. At the expiry of this 12 months period those who are not successful will have to depart the republic or be deported,” he said.
More than 1 million Zimbabweans are estimated to be living in South Africa. Most of them migrated soon after the 2000 economic meltdown.