President Jacob Zuma today signed a bill to allow all asylum seekers who arrived in the Republic of South Africa for not more than 20 years to change their immigration status. The permits will allow them legally hold jobs, protect their employers against sanctions and open up broader economic opportunities.
The program, which is expected to kick start in second week of July 2017, will allow over one million people living in the country as asylum seekers to obtain renewable two-year work permits.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize who made this known said the President and his cabinet have decided to roll out a program to issue work permits to over 1 million people under the new initiative. Home Affairs will begin processing of applications from July 2017. “I can confirm that Cabinet has approved the program and is expected to begin in July this year” she said.