Tensions Brewing Between Zimbabwe and South Africa Over ZEP Permits

Tensions are brewing between the government of Zimbabwe and the government of the Republic of South Africa over ZEP permits renewal.


Relations between the two countries are deteriorating at an alarming rate following the decision by the Department of Home Affairs not to renew exemption permits for hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans residing in South Africa.


The so-called Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEPs) expired on December 31, leaving an estimated 250 000 Zimbabweans at risk of losing their jobs, their bank accounts and of being deported.


There is chaos at the Beitbridge border post as immigration officials are giving Zimbabwean internationals 30 days and 90 days for those with Visa cards.


Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe government is appealing to those living and working in South Africa to remain calm as Harare and Pretoria try to find common ground on expired special dispensation permits for Zimbabweans.