DA raffles feathers as they offer Zimbabwean permit holders SA citizenship

The Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) holders in South Africa have been caught in the midst of a political debate, with conflicting viewpoints emerging from different quarters.

Ngqabutho Nicholas Mabhena, representing the Zimbabwe Community in South Africa, cautioned ZEP beneficiaries against placing blind trust in the promises made by Helen Zille, the Federal Council Chair of the Democratic Alliance (DA), regarding the possibility of granting them citizenship in the country.

Zille’s recent statements advocating for the regularization of ZEP holders due to their long-term residency and economic contributions have sparked debate, with Mabhena expressing concerns about potential political exploitation of migrant issues during the ongoing election campaign in South Africa.

Mabhena highlighted the need for cautious skepticism, warning that political parties could use the plight of migrants as a rallying point for their campaigns.

As South Africa approaches its upcoming elections on May 29, 2024, Zille’s proposal to grant ZEP holders citizenship has added a new dimension to the discourse surrounding migration policies.

Mabhena acknowledged the complexity of the issue, noting a court case seeking Permanent Residence Permits for ZEP holders and the implications of Zille’s stance on citizenship.

The political landscape has been further influenced by an opinion poll conducted by eNCA, indicating limited support for opposition parties, including the DA, in challenging the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

Against this backdrop, Mabhena speculated on Zille’s motivations, suggesting that her stance on the ZEP issue could be a strategic move to attract additional funding for her party during the election season.

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