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Foreign nationals ‘won’t be penalised’ for expired visas during lockdown

Of the 75 land, sea and airports around the country, 35 were shut down last week.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi at an inter-ministerial briefing on the coronavirus in Pretoria on 13 March 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has assured foreign nationals whose visas and permits will expire during the lockdown that they would not be penalised.

Of the 75 land, sea and airports around the country, 35 were shut down last week.

On Wednesday, Motsoaledi said no people would be allowed in or out of the country from midnight on Thursday.

But exceptions will be made for medical reasons.

“We are aware of many nationals in neighbouring countries who make use of our health services, they will make special arrangements with home affairs. The remaining 18 border posts will allow goods and essential services but will be totally closed to people.

Motsoaledi has assured foreign nationals who were afraid they would be penalised and declared undesirable if their visas expired during the lockdown that they can relax

“We don't expect people to apply for extension during the lockdown, we will understand, and we will deal with the matter after 21 days.”

The deadline to apply for renewal of the Lesotho Special Permit was set for the end of March but it has now been extended to the end of June.

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