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The Department of Home Affairs says September is the last month for Basotho nationals who work, study or do business in South Africa to apply for special permits to regularise their stay in South Africa.
The initial closing date was 30 June 2016.
“We accepted a request from the Lesotho authorities to extend for three months, ending this month, to allow more time for Basotho to apply.
“It is for this reason that we have gone out to remind Basotho of the final countdown. This is in their best interest and in the interest of South Africans to whom they render services or with whom they do business,” the department said in a statement.
The total number of applications received online to date is 66 164.
Out of these, the number of applicants who made the necessary payment and booked appointments to visit VFS centres to complete the process is 42 185. Of these, 39 195 applications have gone through at VFS.
“Between now and end of September 2016, we will take applications without passports. But the applicants have until the end of December 2016 to present their valid passports.
“We are doing this because people had to travel back to Lesotho to get passports,” the department said.
Although more applications were expected, the Lesotho Special Permit project was still a big success, especially with regard to building the Lesotho national population register in the time this project was running, said the department.
Amnesty was granted to Basotho in possession of fraudulently acquired documentation, until 31 December 2016.