Zim/SA cross-border migration to be made easy

Source: Zim/SA cross-border migration to be made easy – Sunday News Apr 16, 2017

Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
THE establishment of the cross-border migration management forum between Zimbabwean and South African officials will go a long way in addressing challenges relating to deportation and immigration issues between the two countries, a senior Government has said.

Stakeholders including including immigration officials, social services, the police and other line ministries from both countries met last week in Beitbridge to iron out a number of issues affecting the movement of people between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

In an interview after the meeting, Zimbabwe Consul-General to South Africa, Mr Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro, said the forum was set to improve border efficiency.

“This is a crucial forum in terms of bringing together the stakeholders from both South Africa and Zimbabwe, especially those who are concerned with deportations and issues to do with border efficiency management.

“The idea is to enhance and improve efficiency and cooperation in activities, so that systems from both countries are harmonised.

“It is more important for us to start working together with a common goal and purpose as we move towards the implementation of the envisaged one-stop border post concept at Beitbridge.

“This is the busiest port in the north to south corridor and hence we have agreed to move together in confronting challenges as a team,” he said.

Mr Mukonoweshuro said some of the issues which featured prominently during the meeting included the harmonisation of deportation statistics register at national level.

Home Affairs officials and those from the department of social services which operates the reception centre in Beitbridge, he said, had agreed in principle to tally the register at the end of each month, comparing notes.

This, he said, was meant to address issues of discrepancies in statistics.

“In addition the two immigration authorities have agreed to carry out joint operations on monthly basis aimed at curbing irregular migration.

“Further, national joint operations will be held twice per year. You will also note immigration officials have agreed to meet on 20 April and come up with a joint position paper. The idea is to have harmonised training workshops on efficient border management.”

He said following numerous complaints received at the reception centre in Beitbridge from deportees, officials had agreed to visit Lindela holding centre in Johannesburg to familiarise with the facility’s operations.

He added that there were reports that some personal belongings were being confiscated and never returned by officials.
Mr Mukonoweshuro said they had also discussed issues relating to improving the management and clearing of traffic during major holidays.