One of the worst things when expatriated in a foreign land is losing your passport because your whole life revolves around that document. So when I lost mine I knew I was in for a bit of hectic time in sourcing documents and traveling to and fro police stations and finally the consulate as it also came at a time when I was just about to travel.

After a few days went to police stations in and around the CBD to check if the passport had been handed in by some good Samaritan. No luck, John Foster I went twice, first time they told me they couldn’t find the box with all the lost and found property! I went few days later and they said today we don’t do lost and found, so I just said later for this. Hillbrow police station was more helpful.

You can also apply for the passport there but you need to also have your original ID & BC. I didn’t have my original ID but the lady who served me unashamedly said if i get her a drink she can sign my forms to confirm I presented all original documents to her. I almost asked her if she was not afraid for her job if I were to report her. But I realised she is most likely a C10 anyway and with the way she did it I doubt she would get into trouble anyway. I just told I will go to Zimbabwe.

At the border they don’t just stamp the ETD you have to go to the supervisor, to track your travel history. Apparently people who have overstayed were taking ETDs. On the Zim side my ETD was stamped with “Prohibited Employment” of which I didn’t understand, the need to stamp that. Is it possibly people are seeking employment using an ETD as an official ID document?

I arrived at Makombe at about 10am as I had been advised that getting there early was of no use since they would be lots of people. And sure enough when I got there it was empty. I bought my forms and filled them in then had to go to police station to get a stamp in the passport because for externals the SA Police affidavit was not enough. We went to the Milton Park Police station and they informed us that they do not stamp forms for passports lost outside the country. We had to go to Morris depot. We arrived at Morris depot and went to the Interpol section where your passport would need to be vetted. Apparently this process used to take 14 working days. They informed us to fill in the forms and we submitted them and told to come back at 230pm to pick them up. 230 we got there and picked up our forms, stamped and headed back to Makombe. got our fingerprints taken and signed forms, and pasted in photos. I had been advised that they no longer accept photos taken elsewhere except at Makombe, but I brought photos I had taken in SA and they were accepted. Submitted my forms and told to check after 6 weeks.

My experience at Makombe was very fast and efficient, and had it not been the police saga I would have been done in not more than two hours. There is also new signage to help people to the right offices. So for  I commend Home Affairs for the improvements that they have made to make the department more efficient.

It took exactly 6 weeks for my passport to come out, I had been informed that I would get an SMS but that was not the case, although some people got SMS’. Initially since the new efficiency passports were taking about 4 weeks to come out but it seems the efficiency is only at the passport office and KGVI got overwhelmed resulting in the back log. But I still commend home affairs for a sterling job in trying to make the process as efficient as possible.

You would need to get an ETD/TTD from the Zimbabwe consulate
– Police Affidavit (Copy)
– 2 Colour photos
– ID Copies, they don’t have to be certified)
– Birth Certificate Copy
– If you decide to apply for the passport at the same time you will need to have originals of the ID and Birth certificate.
– Keep your ETD for collection as they will require this to collect your passport.

On arrival I immediately went to VFS Global to apply for a transfer of the permit in the new passport. Before when it was just home affairs transfers used to be a same day service while you wait but this time was told to wait 6 – 8 weeks. Though the process was very efficient as well, and we only had to wait because we got there at lunch time. They also took biometrics and photos.

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