Zimbabwe migrants in South Africa face challenges

via Zim migrants still face challenges | The Zimbabwean 29.04.14 by Mxolisi Ncube

Zimbabweans living and working in South Africa are still facing a number of challenges, according to the Migrant Workers’ Association of South Africa.

Addressing guests at a seminar hosted by the Congress of South African Trade Unions, MWASA said migrants were often vulnerable and desperate. They were afraid of joining unions, were affected by xenophobia and had to deal with day-to-day administrative hassles, including difficulties in opening bank accounts.

There were still some problems in getting proper documents, despite the amnesty and four-year special dispensation which, according to MWASA, discouraged many workers from getting documented for “fear of the unknown” after the four years.

More than 270,000 others – including political exiles who fled Zanu (PF) torture, are facing an unknown future, after they were recently told that they would only be able to renew their permits back home.

“Historically, migrant workers built unions and we need to have a detailed discussion on organising them towards that direction,” said Butholezwe Nyathi, MWASA national coordinator.

“All our affiliates will soon have organisers, who can address cross-border workers. We have a problem at the moment with many local politicians making anti-foreigner statements in the run-up to the election – including the ANC secretary-general (Gwede Mantashe), who recently stated that the unemployment problem was caused by foreign workers.”

Nyathi said that, with an estimated 80 per cent of catering industry workers being Zimbabwean, the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers’ Union (SACCAWU) had tried to assist them with documentation, but did not have the expertise.

The Food and Allied Workers’ Union was also in the process of targeting Zimbabwean and Mozambican workers on farms in Limpopo and Mpumalanga, in a bid to organise them.

“There are many instances of migrant workers who lose their provident fund savings, while there are also instances of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration making rulings based on wrong assumptions that SA law doesn’t cover undocumented migrants,” said Nyathi.

“We have realised that to organise migrants, we must learn to address their needs, which include documentation. MWASA will therefore, have a dedicated workshop on organising migrant workers – preferably two days in the third quarter, which will include some international input and inputs based on approaches of our affiliates.”

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16 comments on “Zimbabwe migrants in South Africa face challenges
  1. apolitical says:

    We don’t want them bacl and SA doesn’t want them – Try China!

  2. Zim Reeper says:

    Typical african response hey APO .You and zanupf mugabe are the reason they are there in the first place.Your time is coming don’t worry.

  3. Zimbabwean says:

    we need to fight, why are we so afraid of one person an old man for that matter. When will Zimbabweans reach their breaking point and take a stand.. enough of this BS, why do we have to wait until this man dies.. were can I get a gun

    • Morris says:

      The logic that we are afraid of one old man starts and ends at wrong premises. Dictators fashion institutions to serve them so it is the whole system which we are afraid of. The police force, the military, ministers, quasi government institutions and the private sector which can only thrive if it supports the dictator. It is this which have to change because if it does not a new president and a new ruling party will be dictatorial.

  4. Petal says:

    The person who said “We do not want the back” is a very SELFISH PERSON perhaps because they are sitting very pretty in zim and rubbing shoulders with those at the top how selfish can one be. the person who said this should remember that the country belongs to all the people and not just a particular person

  5. Petal says:


  6. African says:

    The Times newspaper has started a DE campaigning of Zimbabwe as a country, every day there is some bizarre article on witchcraft, bestiality or weird crimes in Zimbabwe posted. Where has our dignity gone to? Are we changing nationality based the embarrassment and shame?

  7. musa ibn moyo says:

    time for zimbabweans in south africa to come back home,SA is a ticking time bomb. Land to farm is spacious.

  8. Mahlosane Magagula (from Swaziland) says:

    There is one thing Zimbabweans are not seeing about their situation: Zimbabweans are the first really independent state in Africa (no neo-colonialism, not any more).
    What is left is to sort out the political turmoil set-off by Tsvangarai and his American monster-friends, and to assist President R.G. Mugabe’s economic planning.
    I assure you, Zimbabwe will be back at its rightful position as Africa’s crop-production jewel….maybe next decade or the next – it only requires working together amongst Zimbabwes in rebuilding what will trully be theirs.

  9. Iris says:

    many pple commenting here are not familiar wth zim situation,ofcz i will nt spare a moment for Apolitical,he z inhumane,my focal point is,for all south africans who dont know,it is Zanu pf tht has destroyed our country no america no britain thts propaganda scapegoats,we have potholed roads bt people still pay taxes,we have untreated water bt pple pay for it,we don have electricity,we have corruption,we have very rich zanu elites who earn more than many american c.e.o’s,we have a ridiculous indeginisation,we have massive unemployment,i don see any foreign contribution on tht,and when we run to south africa our fellow black south africans are the ones who segregate us,for nton?u hear a matric dropout blaming a degreed zimbabwean for taking his job,really???everywhere they now prefer foreign workers y??quiz yourself my good south africans,thngs change and if u follow the zim madness u will soon find yourself flocking to other countries.

  10. Petal says:

    Wipe the slate clean of ALL these thiEving bufoons – full stop AND GET THE PROSECUTED

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