19 July 2018


One more week for Lesotho Special Permit applications


Semphete Correspondent


23 September 2016

Citizens of Lesotho who wish to regularize their stay in South Africa have got just a week to do so. Applications close on Friday 30 September.

Lesotho nationals are required to apply for a Lesotho Special Permit (LSP) at South Africa's Department of Home Affairs, so they can be able to stay legally in the country. The special dispensation is for Lesotho nationals who are working, studying or running businesses in South Africa without appropriate documentation.

To qualify for this special permit, you should have been in the country for work, studies or running your business before 30 September 2015 and currently registered in the National Population Register of Lesotho.

If successful, the permit would allow the holder to stay in South Africa until 31 December 2019. Over 400 000 Lesotho nationals stand to benefit from the introduction of the Lesotho Special Permit.

The Department of Home Affairs has also called on Basotho who may have fraudulently obtained South African documents to surrender them to the designated Home Affairs office and obtain an amnesty letter, which will save them from prosecution. This type of amnesty will be given to any Lesotho national who gives back fraudulently obtained South African documents until 31 December 2016.

South Africa resolved to grant special permits to Basotho after several discussions with the Kingdom of Lesotho about regularizing the Lesotho citizens' stay. This is because Basotho still see South Africa as a place that provides better economic opportunities and have for decades been flocking to the country for jobs, businesses and studies. Cabinet approved the implementation of the special permit in October last year.

Holding a special permit to stay in South Africa will also improve the protection that the state can provide for Lesotho nationals as they will be properly documented and easily identified should they need help.

To qualify for the special permit, the applicant must have a valid passport or travel document, be registered on the Lesotho National Population Register system, obtain police clearance from Lesotho and South Africa, provide proof of employment that can be in a form of an affidavit from an employer if they are applying for a work permit, provide proof of business registration with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) to get a business permit or proof of registration from an educational institution to qualify for a study permit.

The LSP is similar in nature to the Zimbabwe Special Permit that South Africa issued to Zimbabwe citizens.

Below is the list of Department of Home Affairs offices where fraudulently obtained documents can be surrendered:

  1. North West: Rustenburg and Klerksdorp
  2. Gauteng: Johannesburg Large office and Pretoria (Tirro)
  3. Free State: Bloemfontein, Maseru border post Ficksburg border post, Welkom and Bethlehem
  4. Northern Cape: Kimberley
  5. Limpopo: Polokwane
  6. Western Cape: Cape Town large office
  7. Mpumalanga: Nelspruit
  8. Eastern Cape: Mthatha and East London
  9. KwaZulu-Natal: Ethekhwini, Newcastle and Kokstad