SOUTH Africa has started accepting new applications for permits that would allow Zimbabweans to stay in the neighbouring country for the next four years.

The Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) replaces the Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP) which expires at the end of this year.

Two weeks ago, the SA Minister of Home Affairs Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize said Zimbabweans will be charged R1 090 to process their applications and added that the permits were being issued in recognition of the role played by immigrants in the development of South Africa.

The new applications will be handled by VFS Global, an independent company contracted by South Africa’s Home Affairs ministry.

In a statement on Friday, VFS Global chief operations officer, for Africa Mr Jiten Vyas said his company is ready to process 197 941 applications held by ZSP holders…