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It may already be too late for thousands of Zimbabweans who face losing access to key services in three weeks’ time, despite the government saying they have a 12-month period from December 31 to replace special visas, which have enabled them to live, work and study in SA legally.

That is because of the wording of a directive from the home affairs department, which may lead to the 200,000 holders of the visas being blocked from accessing bank accounts and other services unless they can show they have already applied for “mainstream” alternatives...

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