South Africa sued over Zimbabwe permit renewals
by Staff Reporter
A UNION for migrant workers is taking the South African government to court
to force ministers to reveal what they intend to do with 300,000 Zimbabweans
granted work permits when they expire in 2015.
The Migrant Workers Association of South Africa (MWASA) says officials from
the Department of Home Affairs have privately stated that the permits will
not be renewed, but there has been no public statement by the government.
MWASA has engaged law firm MGM Law Assist to force the government into a
In September 2010, South Africa began a process of issuing Zimbabweans with
relevant South African permits for business, study and work under a special
dispensation known as the Zimbabwe Documentation Programme.
But Austin Moyo, the secretary general of MWASA says Zimbabweans who
benefitted from the programme are anxious to know what will happen when the
Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni said Friday that only those
meeting legal requirements for work, study and business permits renewal will
be granted extensions.
MGM Law Assist Director Godfrey Machimane says the Home Affairs’ position is
the reason why the permit holders are launching a court action.
“If the permit holders are now required to meet legal requirements for
renewing permits that were given under special circumstances, it simply
means the majority will not qualify,” he said.
MWASA’s national organiser Butholezwe Nyathi is urging all permit holders to
urgently register for the court action.
Nyathi is also urging other Zimbabweans holding asylum, refugees and other
forms of permits to join MWASA for representation in all their work related