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Zimbabwe consulate in South Africa launches e-passports

Photo by The Sunday Mail


Zimbabwe consulate in South Africa launches e-passports

Zimbabwe’s consulate in South Africa will start progressively distributing e-passports to its nationals on Tuesday.

The Zimbabwean consulate in South Africa has declared that an e-passport option will be made available starting on Tuesday.

Training consulate workers was the first step, Consul-General Eria Phiri clarified in a public announcement. This ended on June 15 and will now be followed by a system test run from June 18 to 21.

Nearly a million Zimbabwean nationals live in South Africa. International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and national census data confirm this.

Many have entered South Africa without the necessary paperwork, the IOM also observes. Large numbers of Zimbabweans have fled their own nation in order to escape a protracted political turmoil, difficult economic circumstances, and chronic underdevelopment.

Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi declared in December a two-year extension to Zimbabwean Exemption permits (ZEPs), amid a continuing legal dispute over their legitimacy.

Up until November 29, 2025, this will permit citizens of Zimbabwe to work, study, and reside in South Africa. It is subject to the restriction that they cannot thereafter seek for permanent status.

The Supreme Court of Appeal later dismissed a Motsoaledi bid in February of this year. The appeal was filed against a decision that the ZEP programme’s termination was illegal, unconstitutional, and unenforceable.

Permanent Secretary of Zimbabwe for Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Ambassador Raphael Faranisi, declared in May that registration officers would visit the Zim embassy in South Africa to train consular staff on how to handle e-passports in an effort to help its nationals with legal documentation.

Limited numbers of clients selected at random will participate in the trial run, according to Consul-General Phiri.

“This trial run period will be open to a limited number of clients, randomly chosen from the existing pool of clients visiting the consulate in Johannesburg for passport application under the outgoing system,” Phiri stated.

“Before the complete [phase two] public rollout, the process will enable the consulate to assess the degree of responsiveness and effectiveness of the system in a real-world environment.”

Criteria for E-Passports
The Chronicle reports that the e-passport will cost US$150 (converted to ZAR depending on the average exchange rate of the preceding week) and that a QR code will cost an extra US$20.

Standards for the Zimbabwe e-passport consist of:

  • Birth certificate in originalOriginal identity papers (IDs) (acceptable IDs include paper, plastic, or metal)Passport if it is still valid; if it has expired, it is not necessaryMarried women will have to present their original marriage certificates.

    “All participants will be informed of the payment method upon selection,” Phiri said.

Furthermore noteworthy is the fact that there are no agents working on behalf of the consulates in Cape Town, Johannesburg, or the Embassy in Pretoria.

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