They are in the country on a special visa, the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP).

This visa category was introduced more than a decade ago to accommodate an influx of refugees who were fleeing political persecution and economic devastation in Zimbabwe.

But late last year, South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs announced that it would not renew the permits.

This means the affected Zimbabweans have a “grace period” until the end of this year to leave the country or risk being deported.

To topic presenter and journalist Benjamin Moshatama is joined by Dr Webster Zambara, Senior Project Leader for Peace Building Initiatives at the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation, Ngqabutho Mabhena Executive Director at the African Diaspora Forum and Craig Smith, Specialist Immigration Lawyer at Craig Smith & Associates.

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