Zim Community in SA welcomes border opening

Zimbabweans in South Africa have been urged to take advantage of the re-opening of the Beitbridge border to renew their documents.

The South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the neighbouring country will be moving to level 1 on October 1 which will see passenger traffic being allowed through the Beitbridge border post which was closed in March as measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

In a statement, the  Zimbabwe Community in South Africa spokesperson, Bongani Mazwi Mkhwananzi said the re-opening of borders is a welcome move.

“The Zimbabwe Community in South Africa welcomes the announcement by South Africa to open border borders on the 1st of October. This is a welcome move,” said  Mkhwananzi.

He said, “We urge those who have expiring or expired passports to use this time to courier their forms to the registry offices back in Zimbabwe”.

The Zimbabwe Consulate in South Africa last month resumed consular services of processing passports and births certificate applications for Zimbabwean nationals’ resident in the neighbouring country.

Mkhwananzi, however, said they are in discussions with the consulate to allow applicants to process everything at the consulate.

“Many people are struggling to book appointments and find the system is fully booked. The consulate has confirmed that the system works, but due to Covid-19 restriction they can only take a maximum of 75 clients per day at this point, thus due to demand the booking limits get reached quickly,” he said.

“Please note that booking online on this website are only for those applying for passports and birth certificates if you want a temporary travelling document, cancellation of passport, authentication of documents and such other services that are not passport application or birth certificate application you can simply walk into the consulate at 13A Boeing road west Bedfordview.”

Mkhwananzi added that they are engaging the Department of Home Affairs to ensure that those with lapsed Visas are not penalised.

“We are engaging the department of home affairs to ensure that the announcement that was made by the home affairs minister not to penalise those that would have had their visas expire and permitted number of days lapsing while on lockdown are not penalised and that borders officials do not penalise them,” he said.

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