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South Africa: Residence permits or Zimbabweans

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Encouraging news this week regarding immigration in South Africa.

Almost a decade into the Zimbabwean crisis, South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs is introducing a permit that could regularize the status of thousands of undocumented migrants and put an end to mass deportations as a first step to a long-awaited new policy on a thorny issue.

…The permit will grant thousands of Zimbabweans the right to live and work in South Africa, and access healthcare and education for an initial period of at least six months. The mass deportation of undocumented migrants may be halted.

Globally, immigration is one of the hardest policy items to manage. Action is long overdue in South Africa regarding the influx of Zimbabweans, but this policy response is nevertheless and encouraging sign. What happens after South African elections and after the end of the “initial period of at least six months” is yet to be known. Here’s hoping for a continuation of inclusive policies.


Written by Niall

April 12, 2009 at 10:25 am

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