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A South African Court Will Decide if Thousands of Zimbabweans Face Possible Deportation

Thousands of Zimbabweans living in South Africa face an uncertain future and possible deportation before a June 2023 expiration of their work permits, following an announcement by the home government last year that there will be no extension. The Zimbabwean Exemption Permit Holders Association (ZEPHA) says the number of permit holders is about 160,000, but each person has an average of three to four dependents, effectively putting the numbers of those affected at an estimated figure of close to two million Zimbabweans. The hospitality sector is one of the largest employers of ZEP permit holders in the country. In a statement, the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA), the sector’s largest trade union, said the non-renewal of permits would have negative consequences for the industry and “cause trauma and pain to people whose only sin was to legally look for a better life for themselves and their families”.