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RMI Newsflash: Extension of the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP)

Permits 2

Please be advised that the Department of Home Affairs has extended the validity of the Zimbabwean Exemption Permits from June 2023 to December 2023. The said permits were previously extended from December 2022 to June 2023.
 
The reason for the extension thereof is to allow the holders of said permits to apply for one or more visas and waivers provided in the Immigration Act, read in conjunction with the Immigration Regulation 2014.
 
As such, during the six months extension period, the holder of a valid exemption permit:
 
– May not be arrested, ordered to depart, or be detained for the purposes of deportation or to be deported in terms section 30 of the Immigration Act for any reason related to not having any valid exemption certificate such as a permit label or a sticker in his/her passport. The holder may further not be dealt with in terms of section 29, 30 and 32 of the Immigration Act.
 
– May be allowed to enter and depart from the South Africa in compliance with section 9 of the Immigration Act read in conjunction with the Immigration Regulation 2014 and provided that the holder also complies with all other requirements for entry into and departure from South Africa and
 
– May not be required to produce a valid exemption certificate/ permit and an authorisation letter to remain in South Africa as stipulated in section 32(2) of the Immigration Act in the event of making any category of the visas, including temporary residence visa.
 
In terms of section 8 the Employment Service Act “an employer may not employ a foreign national within the territory of the Republic of South Africa prior to such foreign national producing an applicable and valid work permit, issued in terms of the Immigration Act”.
 
Section 38 (1) of the Immigration Act also stipulates that “no person shall employ an illegal foreigner; a foreigner whose status does not authorise him or her to be employed by such person; or a foreigner in terms, conditions, or in a capacity different from those as contemplated in such foreigner’s status”.
 
Section 49(3) of the aforesaid Act provides the legal ramifications of contravening the Act which includes inter alia being found guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment.
 
It is therefore of paramount importance that employers should inform their employees of the abovementioned provisions and to convene proceedings to determine the employees’ capacities to perform their duties and to accommodate them so that they may obtain the necessary documentations before December 2023.  Employees should further be informed that the failure of obtaining such documents within the extended period may lead to legal incapacity.
 
If you have any queries in this regard, or in need to be assisted in facilitating the abovementioned proceedings, please contact your local IR Specialist: IR Contacts – Retail Motor Industry Organisation (rmi.org.za)