The ongoing saga pertaining to the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) and the validity thereof finally came to a conclusion on Wednesday 28 June 2023. Following a recent announcement by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) in June that the ZEP would be valid for a further six-month period ending in December 2023, the High Court in Pretoria has delivered judgment on the matter.

In summation, the High Court has ruled on Part A of the Application and has ordered that the termination of the ZEP by the DHA is unlawful and unconstitutional and that the DHA has to reconsider the entire process. The Court further ruled that the DHA has been interdicted from arresting, detaining or deporting any ZEP holder for any reason relating to them not having a valid ZEP in their passport. What this means then is that existing holders of a ZEP have an additional 12 months’ grace period. The Court has yet to hear part B of the Application which currently still lies before it, but for now the uncertainty and apprehension as to the ZEP has been cleared and it is highly likely that in the following 12 months further developments in this regard will occur.

Daniel van der Merwe

National Collective Bargaining Coordinator at Consolidated Employers’ Organisation (CEO SA)