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Home Affairs to help Lesotho nationals with special permits

The department says it will target over 400,000 Lesotho nationals who currently live in South Africa illegally.

Home Affairs.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Home Affairs Department says it intends to help Lesotho nationals apply for special permits by setting up mobile stations at the Ficksburg and Maseru ports of entry.

Director-General Mkuseli Apleni says the department will target over 400,000 Lesotho nationals who currently stay in South Africa illegally.

He says the special permit is meant to document people who are either working, studying or running a business in the country without the appropriate documentation.

Apleni says the mobile offices are meant to assist those who have not yet applied.

“The bulk of them are coming back home, so it will be easy now for us to have a mobile solution which will help them to submit their applications.”

The department has warned that Lesotho citizens who fail to obtain a special permit to live and work in South Africa by March will be deported.

Apleni says those in the country for business and academic reasons will not be spared if they are found to be in the country illegally.

“By March, if you do not have a permit, it means now you are in our country illegally and you will be deported.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)