The Port of Cape Town would continue to issue new port access permits to truck drivers who have a Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP), the Transnet National Ports Authority confirmed this week.
This was after some port users complained that the Port of Cape Town had refused entry to ZEP-holding truck drivers after issuing a notice to port stakeholders on December 2, 2021 regarding port permit applications for ZEP holders. The Road Freight Association (RFA) last week said it would raise the matter with the authorities to reverse what appeared to be an allegedly “illegal” decision.
However, TNPA has now responded to the complaints in a statement issued this week, saying it had not denied entry to ZEP-holding truck drivers.
“The notice advised that as per the announcement made by Cabinet on November 25, 2021, no extensions would be granted on the Special ZEP and that all port access permits issued to ZEP permit holders (expiring December 31, 2021) would not be renewed nor would any new application under this ZEP permit be processed,” TNPA said in a statement this week.
It added that the port had subsequently issued an amendment to the notice on December 8, 2021, informing all port stakeholders of the latest announcement made by the director general of the department of home affairs (DHA) on November 29, 2021. The DHA indicated in the announcement that “applicants who are in possession of a ZEP expiring on December 31, 2021 must be allowed to continue with their services, provided they submit proof of application for a mainstream visa in terms of the Immigration Act and Immigration Regulations. Proof of application must be the Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) Receipts”.
TNPA said that it would continue to issue port access permits to ZEP permit holders in line with the recent Government Notice issued by Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, on January 7, 2022.
“The Government Notice states that an extension has been granted to ZEP permit holders for a period of 12 months, ending December 31, 2022. The Port of Cape Town has not deactivated any permits or turned away truck drivers due to their expired ZEP. All port access permit holders are issued expiry dates in accordance with their legal visa status when they are enrolled,” TNPA said.
It issued a further security notice on January 12 in which it stated that port permits would be renewed “on application”.
“Following DHA directive 1 of 2022 whereby the ZEP permits are extended to December 31, 2022, the TNPA has decided that all port access permits issued to ZEP permit holders (expiring December 31, 2021) will be renewed on application. Applicants must include their existing ZEP permit as part of their application supporting documents. This document will be considered valid until the date communicated by DHA,” the notice said.
RFA CEO Gavin Kelly confirmed earlier this week that the association had not received any further complaints regarding access being denied to truck drivers.
enied to truck drivers.