Lesotho nationals in SA to receive special permits

Malusi Gigaba says the special permits will legalise Lesotho nationals living in SA without proper papers.

FILE: Malusi Gigaba. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba has announced a moratorium on the deportation of Basotho people living in the country illegally.

Special permits will be issued for Lesotho nationals working, studying or owning businesses in the country.

Gigaba today briefed the media in Parliament, where he also gave an update on the Zimbabwe special permit programme.

He said the special permits would legalise Lesotho nationals living in South Africa without proper documentation.

Gigaba made it clear the moratorium would exclude those with a negative police clearance or a criminal record.

The dispensation will only apply to working, studying Lesotho nationals who entered the country before September.

The special permits, issued to those who meet the criteria, will be valid for four years.