South Africa: Two-year extension for Zimbabwe and Lesotho permit holders

Published: 1/Dec/2023
Source: GroundUp (Cape Town)

New permits to be issued to the approximately 233,000 existing permit holders

By Joseph Chirume

Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi announced on Friday that new permits will be issued for holders of the Lesotho Exemption Permit (LEP) and the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP), which will be valid for two more years, until 29 November 2025.

Motsoaledi faced a litany of litigation from civil society organisations challenging the decision to terminate the LEP (held by about 55,000 people) and the ZEP (held by about 178,000 people by year end. The High Court had already extended the ZEP to 28 June 2024.

Permit holders will be entitled to work, seek employment and conduct business.

Motsoaledi said the new exemption permits to be issued will expire on 29 November 2025.

However, holders will not be entitled to apply for permanent residence status and the new permits will not be renewable. A permit holder can also not change their status in the country and must disclose or register all their minor children born and staying in South Africa.

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Themes: ID Documents and Passports
Regions: South Africa
Year: 2023