On Human Rights’ Day, the Department of Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees, Bienvenu Shelter and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa initiated a public discourse on the Zimbabwean Special Dispensation Permit (ZSP) at the Cathedral.
Pastoral Care’s head of department, Sr Maria de Lurdes mscs welcomed everybody. She introduced and thanked the panel for their presence. Fr Sergio Durigon cs invited participants to call to mind how Human Rights Day came into existence and to pray the prayer for migrants and refugees.
In 2009, the South African cabinet, under the Home Affairs Directorate, approved the Dispensation of Zimbabweans Project or DZP as it is commonly known.
Under the DZP, Zimbabwean nationals, who were in the country unlawfully, were granted an opportunity to legalise their stay. This permit allowed Zimbabweans with a valid passport, evidence of employment, business or accredited study and a clear criminal record to be granted a permit to stay and work, study or run a business in South Africa.
The DZP permits expired on 31 December 2014.
On 12 August 2014, the ZSP was introduced to serve the same purpose as DZP.
It expires on 31 December 2017 and leaves scores of ZSP permit holders in a predicament as the minister of the Department of Home Affairs,
has not made further pronouncements regarding the ZSP.
Sr Maria de Lurdes