Johannesburg - Permits issued to Zimbabweans under a special dispensation will expire in December this year, the department of home affairs said on Tuesday.

“Cabinet approved the approach on the expiry of permits issued under the special dispensation for Zimbabweans in terms of which permit-holders will be expected to re-apply for permits,” the department said in a statement.

“As per Cabinet decision, the minister of home affairs will in due course provide more clarity on the process to be followed and the date of commencement.”

Home affairs said it was not the country's intention to reverse the benefits of the dispensation, which gave permits to almost 250 000 Zimbabweans in South Africa.

In March, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor said permit holders would be expected to re-apply for their permits in their country of origin.

Sapa