Hundreds caught daily trying to escape into SA

via Hundreds caught daily trying to escape into SA | SW Radio Africa by Nomalanga Moyo on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The economic meltdown is driving hundreds of Zimbabweans into South Africa every day, amid reports that authorities are struggling to police illegal crossing points.

Immigration authorities at Beitbridge told The Zimbabwean newspaper that at least 100 border jumpers were being arrested daily trying to cross into South Africa.

The figure is however said to be much higher, as other people manage to elude the officials who say they do not have the resources to monitor all the illegal entry points along the 300 km border with SA.

Speaking from South Africa, SW Radio Africa correspondent Ezra Tshisa Sibanda said the massive numbers of people trying to leave confirm how bad the situation is in Zimbabwe.

“It’s a reflection of the economic conditions prevailing in the country. The economy has crumbled totally, people are losing jobs daily as companies close and this is forcing people to flee to neighbouring countries.

“From what I have seen and from speaking to Zimbabweans, we can safely estimate that for every hundred people that the police manage to arrest, 200 others manage to cross over into SA, either through illegal crossing points or legally through immigration,” Sibanda said.

“I have just been speaking to some Zimbabweans who were deported from SA last month but four days ago they managed to sneak back in illegally.”

Sibanda said although life is tough for most of the undocumented Zimbabweans living in South Africa the conditions are nothing compared to the suffering being experienced by those left behind.

“At least here they still can get jobs as domestic workers, farm labourers or till operators, which would be impossible in Zimbabwe.”

It’s not known how many Zimbabweans now live in South Africa, but estimates vary between 2 and 4 million.

Social and economic conditions that had improved during the coalition government have worsened since ZANU PF took over in a disputed 2013 electoral outcome.

Many observers believe that less than five percent of the country’s population is in formal employment, and this is driving many of the country’s young people, both skilled and unskilled, out of the country.



  • comment-avatar

    Did this happen in Rhodesia?

    • comment-avatar
      Doris 8 years ago

      Hmmmmm, there’s a point. Didn’t have to. They could get their travel documents easily!

  • comment-avatar
    Senzachena 8 years ago

    Tip of the ice berg. Wait until the real crunch comes and thousands upon thousands will jump the river. Serves JZ/ANC right for supporting RGM and ZANU. Soon the xenophobia will start in SA. There is no better news than pictures of a poor Zimbabwean being necklaced in Alex, these will spread around the world press and do so much “good” for SA.

  • comment-avatar

    Andy in Rhodesia we had an influx of immigrant workers and it was very easy to get papers. Those foreigners are the ones contributed a lot to the economy. Indigenous Zimbabwean never wanted to work in farms or mines.

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    Straight Shooter 8 years ago

    Everyday as uMthwakazi, we are told to “go back to South Africa” or “to go create your Mthwakazi in KwaZulu Natal”.

    But the interesting thing is that the very same people who say these things to us are now in the majority in South Africa, among the immigrant Zimbabwe population.

    They are also in the forefront of those crying for the renewal of these permits by the South African government.

    Some of these products of Mugabe’s tribalistic gukurahundi political upbringing are very, very funny indeed.

    I have never come across such tribalistic stupidity in my whole life. We never experienced it during the Rhodesian era!!

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 8 years ago

    The ordinary people can see the writing on the wall at least they are trying to make an honest living to put food on the table which comes back to a point am making often the those in positions do not care including SADC

  • comment-avatar
    Straight Shooter 8 years ago

    “Products of Mugabe’s tribalistic gukurahundi political upbringing”, NOW BORDER JUMPING!!

    • comment-avatar
      muntu 8 years ago

      ….and being forced to speak a language they had vowed never to speak, no wonder they’re so ashamed to admit Zulu and Ndebele are similar!

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 8 years ago

    How does SADC and those in positions expect ordinary people to survive when companies are closing, land grabs by the theiving scum bags, so called indigenisation by the same thieving scum bags on businesses they set their eyes on only t employ their kith and kin – No one gives a STUFF about the ordinary man in the street – only when they want their dirty work to be carried out do they call them (Sic) it is about survival of the fittest and that is the only way they will do it -the Organisations dealing with Migrants in Southern Africa need to speak up MORE e.g. SAMP, etc.

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    Umwrong 8 years ago

    I hate to hear things like, “well, Rhodesia was better because…” or “At least in Rhodesia…”

    While the statements made might well be true, it’s disheartening that such a thing is the case. Zimbabwe should have been the extension to everyone of everything that made Rhodesia work well.

    I am disinclined to glorify Rhodes’ legacy on principle (I’m a white guy) owing to his preference of “land to n*ggers” — as he so delicately put it — but you know that a situation is dire when people are saying, “gee, did we really even NEED a civil war?”

    I have begun including the people of Zimbabwe (or Rhodesia, whatever) in my prayers, every night. You deserve so much better.

    With much love,

    • comment-avatar
      Straight Shooter 8 years ago

      I am black, a Mthwakazi and proudly Rhodesian. Zimbabwe has nothing for me but gukurahundism!!!!