A source from within the Department of Home Affairs said this would however, hinge on the bearers managing to satisfy some requirements, especially proving that they have been employed, studying or doing business for the duration of the permit, or a greater part of that time.
The source also revealed that even those who did not make it when the DZP was launched in 2010 would be given a chance to apply this time.
“The DZP was an experimental programme meant to save government money and also explore if business and the economy would improve in the process,” said the source.
“So far, it has proven to be very successful and government is happy with the first phase of the programme. I can assure you that the programme will not only see permits being renewed, but will also be extended beyond those who got the first permits.”
For a permit renewal, the bearer should be free of a criminal conviction, provide proof of employment, study or business.
“The plan is to give an extra year to those who already had permits, while new applicants will be thoroughly screened this time and required to satisfy some requirements that are still being set by government.”
Some of the requirements are that people should prove that they are employed under the category of “critical skills” or have their employers come forward to vouch for them.
“New work and business permits will be valid for four years, in line with new government policy on migration, while study permits will be valid for the duration of the course,” added the source.
“After the permit has completed five years, the bearer will be given citizenship in the same manner Zimbabweans were given in 1996. This has been because businesses have begun to focus on Zimbabwe and this has further strengthened the local economy.”
Most South African business sectors, like insurance and banking, have since the launch of the DZP, designed programmes specifically targeting Zimbabweans and would not like to lose that, according to the source.
“Talks are going on between governments on how to roll out the second phase in a manner that will benefit both countries.”
DHA Director-general, Mkuseli Apleni, was non-committal on the issue earlier this week.
“There will soon be a cabinet announcement on the DZP and what will happen with the expiring permits, so I cannot say anything much now,” said Apleni.