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Zimbabwe starts processing e-passports in South Africa

Zim passports

The Zimbabwean government has initiated the processing of e-passports in South Africa for citizens residing in the neighbouring country.

A senior government official told The Herald on Monday that a team of officials from the Registrar General’s office, along with other consultants, is currently in South Africa, providing training to consulate staff who will be handling the e-passport processing.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Permanent Secretary Raphael Faranisi said:

The process of issuing the e-passports is already ongoing. As I speak, the e-passports are already being processed and there is training.

Once the consultants leave, our consulate staff can take care of any problems that emerge.

The commissioning will be done at a date to be advised and the proposal is that our Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade commission the project.

It would have been done earlier but you are aware that in South Africa they are still in an electoral period. Just like any other country, you don’t go and commission by yourselves because that’s foreign land.

What we expect is, that when our ministers go there, they will invite the host ministry responsible for immigration matters and then they commission in their presence.

The commissioning will be done soon. Once there is a new Government, then we will arrange with our embassy on the most suitable date to do the commissioning. There will be two issues, commissioning the new building as well as the e-passports.

A report by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) in 2022 stated that there were 773,246 Zimbabweans residing in South Africa.

However, some observers believe this figure is too conservative, as a significant number of Zimbabweans in South Africa reside there illegally, pushing the estimated count beyond 3 million.

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