The Home Affairs Department in South Africa has announced that it will launch a new 90-day visa waiver programme for Zimbabweans who wish to move to South Africa to find work.
Malusi Gigaba, the deputy home affairs minister, says that around 1,500 asylum seekers are currently registering at Pretoria on a weekly basis, along with 1,000 in Cape Town and 100 elsewhere.
Gigaba says that the department now intends to separate the economic migrants from the country from those seeking asylum. He explained, “Part of the changes that we will make is that of separating the economic migrants and asylum seekers.”
The home affairs department is set to visit Southern African Development Community (SADC) nationals to inform them of the fact that they can now take their identification documents to the department to register, instead of applying for asylum.
This way, people who would have lived in South Africa as asylum seekers can instead move to the country for less than three months while they seek work in South Africa .
Gigaba says the changes will help to ease the number of SADC and Zimbabwean asylum seekers in South Africa, which has increased hugely in recent years.