The cut-off date for receiving ZSP applications was December 2014. Applications were received by VFS Global, and adjudicated by the Department, with 31 July 2015 as our deadline for Departmental adjudication and processing of applications.
The ZSPs are valid until 31 December 2017, said Gigaba and that the ZSP would also expire on that date. From 1 January 2018, Zimbabweans would apply for a normal visa which is applicable in the law.
The minister shared information on the progress of the ZSP project laying evidence to the current success thereof:
• Total number of ZSP applications to be adjudicated was 198,032.
• Total ZSP applications adjudicated is 197,303 - 99.7% of applications.
• Total number of ZSP applications still to be adjudicated is 729
• Number of approved applications is 185,075 - 93.8% of applications.
• Number dispatched by the Department to VFS offices is 161 677.
• Rejected Applications are 12,228 - 6.2% of total applications.
• ZSPs that have been collected totals 128,317 - 64.9%.
• ZSPs still to be collected are about 26,986.
“The bulk of the remaining work is administrative, involving printing and dispatch of outstanding ZSP certificates to VFS, followed by clients' collection of decision. The good news is that adjudication is almost complete, leaving us with only 0.3% to adjudicate. The 30th of September 2015 is the target date for completion of outstanding tasks, including collections,” said Gigaba.
The minister added that the marginal 0.3% remaining on the adjudication target arises as a consequence of files that do not have supporting documents or electronic attachments that cannot be opened or retrieved.
“These cases are being addressed individually, and efforts to contact the affected applicants are underway. The rejected cases (12,228) are being reviewed, this month, to ensure integrity of the final decision on the rejection, and to prevent unwarranted appeal applications.”
Gigaba confirmed that to this point the feedback from Zimbabweans has been very positive with many confirming an improved employment, business and social environment, as well as the ease of financially transacting and receiving medical treatment and other services.
ZSPs are collected from VFS centres, Monday to Saturday, 08h00-17h00. ZSPs not collected on or before 30 September 2015 will be returned to my Department, by VFS Global, which manages ZSP processes and centres for the Department of Home Affairs.
According to Gigaba the department’s next goal is the frontline issuance of the ZSP Certificate by 30 September 2015.
“This process is currently 65% complete and the residual volumes are expected to be managed within the remaining time. Those applicants who have not collected their permits are urged to do so, for these permits to remain valid, after the closing date of 30 September 2015.”
“On the whole, the modernisation of our systems is bearing fruit,” said the minister saying the newly employed processing system has improved on efficiencies and service quality as the Department advances towards a digital, paperless environment.
Elaborating on the service Gigaba said, “(The) Innovations we're making as well as improvements to levels of professionalism within the public sector are intended to ensure effective, secured management of the immigration and asylum system, as well as promoting a zero-tolerance for corruption.
“We have emerged out of the ZSP process even the (more) wiser, knowing what systems and processes work the better to curb corruption and violations of the permitting system.”
Gigaba concluded saying, “For us finding a viable option(s) effectively to deal with 'economic migrants' will go a long way in enhancing South Africa's management of international migration, in the national interest, and in keeping with the dictates of international law.
“It is this consideration informing further the ensuing review of our international migration policy.
“What SA needs is a modern, progressive and robust policy on international migration which will take into account the enormous current and potential contribution of immigrants to our society, and our connectedness with the rest of the world, while minimising associated risks and protecting our national interests.”