Chakwera wants special permits for Malawians working in South Africa


President Lazarus Chakwera has called for the introduction of special permits for Malawians working in the informal sector in South Africa.

The Malawi leader made the request during a meeting with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and various members of his Cabinet in Pretoria.

SABC news site reported that the Malawi leader appealed for special permits for Malawian migrants employed in the informal sector in South Africa just as is the case for migrants from Zimbabwean and Lesotho.

“In the same vein, I would like to ask that Malawians be able to apply for new permits and renew expired ones while in South Africa as a reciprocal arrangement. More broadly I request your help in simplifying visa extension procedures,” said Chakwera.

The Malawi leader also asked the South African government to ease the issuance of medical visas to Malawian diplomatic passport holders.

Chakwera noted that this will do away with the current arrangement where diplomatic passport holders are required to obtain an ordinary visa before acquiring a medical visa.

During the meeting, Chakwera also expressed concern that Malawians are detained at Lindela Repatriation Centre for about 120 days before deportation.

He said: “Even if we say reduce it to 60 days it may be too many days as a first step towards the ultimate idea of seven days.”

Chakwera went to South Africa on Thursday and returned to Malawi on Friday.