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About 180,000 Zimbabweans Working in South Africa Welcome Ruling to Stop Deportation

Pretoria’s High Court ruled the government’s plan to terminate their special residency permits was unconstitutional. The High Court’s decision is a blow to South Africa’s Home Affairs Ministry and a win for Zimbabweans, many of whom have been in South Africa for more than a decade, having left neighboring Zimbabwe amid political and economic turmoil during former president Robert Mugabe’s rule. To deal with the influx from across the border, South Africa initially introduced special permits to allow them to work but in 2021 said it was ending the program. The Zimbabwe Immigration Federation challenged the government’s intention to force Zimbabweans to return home and the group’s chairman, Luke Dzviti, on Thursday welcomed the court’s verdict. The court ruled that the permits would be extended for one more year. After that, Dzviti said his organization would launch another application.