Articles

17-01-2018 09:00:21 (GMT +02:00) Pretoria / Cape Town, South Africa

Ordinary Zimbabweans tell us why they want to emigrate
15. Nov. 2017 Sowetan Live

Emigration from Zimbabwe is soaring as ordinary residents despair at the imploding economy and political instability‚ even before the current political turmoil. A month ago‚ the publication`s Harare correspondent Nhlalo Ndaba filed this report‚ which we republish today to bring perspective to the unfolding situation: Ahead of Zimbabwe’s general elections‚ scheduled to be held around August 2018‚ the economy is imploding and some professionals as well as ordinary Zimbabweans have lost faith in a political solution and are now looking for greener pastures. Sithembiso Ncube‚ a teaching assistant at one of Zimbabwe’s tertiary institutions‚ has set her eyes on Australia. Despite academics earning more than average government workers‚ their salaries are behind by almost two months. “Things are bad. I am surviving on bank overdrafts and the bank only takes its money as and when government pays us. What hurts me most is that they add interest‚” she said. Her husband‚ Brian‚ owns a small construction company. But business is hard to come by since people don’t have money to build. Some of his machinery was attached by the messenger of court for failing to pay workers. Construction is a critical skill and the couple found it worthwhile to choose a country where they will both have jobs. “We passed visa interviews last month. He will go first and then I will automatically get a spousal visa‚” said Sithembiso. The Ncube’s are selling their movable property to raise a one-way ticket for Brian.“When he arrives‚ the Australian government will refund his airfare and that will be used to buy my ticket‚” she added. According to Australian laws‚ the couple will have to work two years for the government. Thereafter‚ get an option of taking up residence or extend their visas. In their circle of friends‚ a lawyer husband and computer engineer wife left in December for Italy. Another Zimbabwean who refused to be named returned back home in 2011 during the Government of National Unity (GNU) that brought stability as President Robert Mugabe shared power with his erstwhile rival Morgan Tsvangirai. But now‚ she is also on her way out. “My standard of living has gone down and signs are that things will only get worse‚” she said‚ as she sets her eyes on the United Arab Emirates. Doctors and nurses are also leaving in droves. Last year sizable numbers relocated to Swaziland‚ Namibia and the United Kingdom. A basic starting salary for a nurse in the UK before added benefits and overtime is 21‚000 pound sterling per year ` a far cry from the ‚000 per year in Zimbabwe. There is a lack of up-to-date statistics on the number of Zimbabweans in the diaspora but the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) put the figure of those who left during the economic meltdown of 2008 at between 500‚000 and three million based on various sources like government and non-governmental organisations. For most ordinary Zimbabweans‚ South Africa is the destination of choice. Statistics from the South African embassy in Harare indicate that visa applications have doubled since 2014. The embassy now processes an average of 6‚000 permits per month against 3‚000 three years ago. However‚ those in South Africa under the Zimbabwe Dispensation Permits are racing against time to extend their stay. “There is panic because by December everyone should have extended their permits but the online system is not working properly‚ hence some don’t have interview dates. It’s



 

complete chaos‚” said Tendai Bhiza from People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty (Passop) in Cape Town. The SA Department of Home Affairs opened applications for the new Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) in September. It replaced the Zimbabwe Special Permit‚ which was awarded to about 200‚000 working Zimbabweans in SA. On Friday‚ SA Home Affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni released a statement announcing that the cut-off date for ZEP applicants to have their in-person appointments had been extended from end-November to January 31 next year. This was a response to long queues and a lack of time to complete the process. Most Zimbabweans in South Africa are not documented and more are on their way into the country. “I charge R2‚000 to get a person into South Africa. I have roughly six people every fortnight. Lately we have been transporting children who are being reunited with their parents because life has become tough back home‚” said a cross border transporter also known as Umalayisha. Inside Zimbabwe‚ many Zimbabweans now treat cash as a commodity instead of a store of value. Before spending it‚ they inquire about the day’s rate. “When I have cash I don’t use it to pay for bills. I check its rate against the bond note or telegraphic transfer‚” said Sharon Murewa. For example‚ the rate between the American dollar and telegraphic transfer recently was 1=1‚5 ` thus a US0 would give one a value of 0 in transfer money. This week‚ Zimbabwe announced it has relaxed regulations barring the import of basic commodities to avert a shortage of goods ahead of the festive season. Statutory Instrument 64 was put in place by the government to prevent items such as groceries‚ building material and furniture from entering the country‚ in an attempt to stimulate domestic production. Now‚ anyone with foreign currency can approach the government for an import permit. However‚ the decision came a bit late‚ because retailers have been accessing South African products such as milk‚ cooking oil‚ cereal‚ detergents‚ biscuits‚ razor blades ` to name but a few ` from the runners and smugglers‚ popularly known as “Omalayitsha”. With the disappearance of hard currencies on the streets‚ retailers are forced to hike their prices‚ because buying rands using the local bond notes is expensive. “The rand trades on an average of R100-‚ but against the local bond notes ` which officially have the same value as the rand ` it is R100-. Therefore‚ I need more bond notes to get my hands on the rand. To operate at a profit‚ I have to hike my prices every time the bond notes lose value‚” said a supermarket owner. Other notable price increases have been on items such as sanitary pads‚ hair products‚ milk‚ whisky and even locally produced products such as bricks. Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Mike Bimha told journalists that to avert spiralling prices‚ he would approach parliament to introduce price controls. But that may not help. Economist Stevenson Dhlamini said: “Price controls will make goods only accessible on the black market at more expensive prices‚ because traders will factor in the risk allowance‚ since they will be prone to police raids.” V.4101

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The Zambian government on Tuesday announced a temporary suspension on issuance of passports and national identity cards in Lusaka, the country`s capital, following an outbreak of cholera. V.4127
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LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Immigration Wing arrested two passengers on charges of fake permits at Allama Iqbal airport on Monday. V.4126
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`Stateless` man struggles for citizenship
23. Dec. 2017 Pretoria News
  Hawks called on to probe Home Affairs social media scam
21. Dec. 2017 AAN7

However, he has no birth certificate to prove it and thus cannot get a South African ID because it is said he is not a South African citizen. Ngubane is therefore stateless and belongs to no country. Home Affairs refuses to issue him with a South African ID because he is unable to provide documented evidence that he was born here. The department also said it was not justified to grant him permanent residence in the country under the circumstances. V.4124
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Home Affairs Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has warned of a criminal syndicate operating on social media networks. This comes after a fake account bearing the name of the minister was created a week ago, as a platform to solicit money through a purported contract deal to the amount of R25 million. “The minister is not involved in any deal of the nature described in this fake correspondence. In addition, the department will also never ask people to pay money through social media for any of its services and anyone who comes across such requests should report these to the authorities,” Dlodlo said. V.4125
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Cape Town refugee centre must be opened by end of March
15. Dec. 2017 Groundup
  Border Management Authority to become operational next year
15. Dec. 2017 Defence Web

Cape Town - On Thursday the Constitutional Court rejected an application by the Department of Home Affairs for leave to appeal, in a matter relating to the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office. The Department was appealing a decision by Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). The SCA ruled in September that Home Affairs must `reopen and maintain a fully functional refugee reception V.4122
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According to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) Cabinet is expected to approve the long-awaited establishment of the Border Management Authority (BMA) early next year. SAnews, reporting on this week’s DHA briefing for festive season plans at South Africa’s authorised ports of entry, names the new entity as the Border Management Agency. This was the name given when it was first mooted but was subsequently changed to “authority” so as to give it more standing. V.4123
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Family caught up in home affairs nightmare
11. Dec. 2017 Times Live
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11. Dec. 2017 Business Live

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Home Affairs Minister Ayanda Dlodlo will approach the Supreme Court of Appeal to challenge the Oppenheimer family’s court victory in October to run a private international terminal at OR Tambo International Airport. On Friday the department lost the second round in a battle that has pitched the Oppenheimers against the Guptas when the High Court in Pretoria dismissed its application for leave to appeal against the October judgment. V.4121
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SA September arrivals increase ` Brazil, France continue to perform
10. Dec. 2017 Tourism Update
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03. Dec. 2017 City Press

A year-on-year comparison between 2016 and 2017 for Q3 shows that the number of overseas tourists increased by 5%. September arrivals increased by 2,1% year-to-date, from 1 273 734 in September 2016 to 1 300 502 in September 2017. A month-to-month comparison indicates a small drop of 0,1%, from August 2017’s figure of 1 302 312. V.4119
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Capetonians, bless them, have been a little smelly recently. The water-deprived residents have been walking about with unwashed hair as they’re restricted to two-minute showers and that’s on a good day and their town doesn’t smell so good either, City Press noted on a trip last week. Despite the water crisis that has seen residents of the country’s oldest city limited to using 81 litres a day each, the Western Cape provincial government is going into overdrive to save its tourism industry, which is also suffering in the drought. V.4115
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#LoveSA: Why you don`t need to spend those precious rands overseas
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  344 547 foreign nationals overstay visitor visas in 2016
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Kate Turkington does country style in luxury in Dullstroom; battles a gale in Wakkerstroom, one of the world’s best birding spots; and catches a tiger fish on Jozini Dam - in one week. Mpumalanga may be one of our smallest provinces, but it’s packed with beauty and things to do. And you don’t need lots of time, foreign exchange or finicky visas to travel to some of its amazingly diverse destinations. V.4116
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Zimbabweans are main culprits, followed by Mozambicans and Malawians Minister Dlodlo must immediately resolve dire inefficiencies at Home Affairs In a reply to a DA Parliamentary question, Home Affairs Minister, Ayanda Dlodlo, revealed that at least 344 547 foreign nationals failed to leave South Africa before or on the date their visas were set to expire. V.4118
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SA September arrivals increase ` Brazil, France continue to perform
30. Nov. 2017 Tourism Update
  Cyber piracy strikes at tourism
23. Nov. 2017 Tourism Update

A year-on-year comparison between 2016 and 2017 for Q3 shows that the number of overseas tourists increased by 5%. September arrivals increased by 2,1% year-to-date, from 1 273 734 in September 2016 to 1 300 502 in September 2017. A month-to-month comparison indicates a small drop of 0,1%, from August 2017’s figure of 1 302 312 V.4117
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Cyber piracy in the tourism industry is fast becoming a major problem, with websites mimicking those of legitimate reserves and lodges. A concerned reader recently alerted Tourism Update to the growing prevalence of cyber piracy within the tourism sector, with companies creating websites that mimic those of reserves and lodges in order to mislead travellers into booking with them instead. V.4113
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Tweets over ID book validity false - Home Affairs
21. Nov. 2017 News 24
  SA Chinese arrivals outlook
20. Nov. 2017 Tourism Update

Johannesburg ` The Department of Home Affairs has dismissed as false, tweets claiming that the green, barcoded, South African identity book was reaching the end of its lifespan. `No such announcement has been made by the department. We wish to make it clear that the green barcoded ID book remains a legal form of identification and will continue to be until such time that the live capture system is rolled out to all home affairs offices to enable South Africans to apply for the smart ID cards at their nearest offices,` department spokesperson David Hlabane said. V.4112
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2016 was a bumper year for Chinese arrivals for various reasons, not the least of which was the very low selling price of some of the bottom-end packages offered. While Chinese arrivals in South Africa saw a dip in the first few months of this year, the industry reports that the market has now stabilised and is forecast for growth. V.4108
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Rwanda: Visas on arrival for all
20. Nov. 2017 Tourism Update
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20. Nov. 2017 Tourism Update

Rwanda is among the countries that have taken a leading role in implementing the AU`s recommendations. From January 1, 2018, all travellers to Rwanda, regardless of nationality, will get a 30-day visa on arrival without prior application. Rwandans with dual nationality are now allowed to use National IDs on entry. V.4109
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`Any new route coming into an airport stimulates travel, trade and tourism,` says Terence Delomoney, GM of King Shaka International Airport. FlySafair recently launched a Durban-Port Elizabeth route, and a Durban-East London service will launch on November 27. Bookings are open for both routes. V.4111
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Zuma launches `one stop shop` to facilitate foreign investment
18. Nov. 2017 Times Live
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President Jacob Zuma on Saturday opened a one stop shop in Durban as part of attempts to simplify doing business in SA. President Jacob Zuma realised one of his presidential prerogatives on Saturday when he launched a one stop shop to encourage more foreign and local investment in KwaZulu-Natal. V.4103
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FORMER Christian pastor and Evil 8 paedophile ring member David Volmer will be turfed out of the country as soon as he is released from jail in WA. Volmer is one of dozens of WA child sex predators who have had their visas cancelled under the Turnbull Government’s hardline stance on deporting criminals on character grounds. V.4104
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UK and France Home ministers emphasize security and law enforcement cooperation
18. Nov. 2017 Mercopress
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16. Nov. 2017 Times Live

UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd and the Minister of the Interior of France, Gerard Collomb, met in London on Friday and discussed a range of home affairs matters including joint efforts to fight terrorism, illegal migration, border security and efforts to tackle serious and organized crime. V.4105
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Dlodlo and her department have just over a week to detail their plan to deal with illegal immigrants in Joburg or face court action The City of Johannesburg said on Thursday that the Department of Home Affairs’s inaction on illegal immigration had led to “overwhelming prejudice and hardship” for the city. V.4102
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New refugee documents welcomed
16. Nov. 2017 Cape Argus
  Just launched: ‘Huge’ initiative to boost Chinese arrivals to SA
16. Nov. 2017 Tourism Update

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Fatima Chohan says machine-readable travel documents are more secure. Picture: Brenton Geach Cape Town - The government has introduced a new way to better manage its refugee and asylum seekers with an improved refugee travel document. The new machine-readable travel document for refugees has been designed and developed using the latest passport production technology and security standards. V.4106
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“The brand awareness this initiative is creating is massive ` I don’t think South Africa has done anything this big in China before.” To cement trade ties, boost investment flows and encourage tourism between South Africa and China, Standard Bank and the Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have launched the I Go South Africa loyalty programme in partnership with South African Tourism. V.4110
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South Africans and the UK Visitor Visa
15. Nov. 2017 The South African
  Home Affairs monitoring borders in wake of Zim political tension
15. Nov. 2017 EWN

With the very large South African community living in the UK, it is no surprise that we receive many queries on the UK Visitor Visa. Grandparents, parents, friends, and family all want to visit those fortunate enough to live in the UK. There is also a large number of persons wanting to visit the UK to explore business and job opportunities, before making a final decision about moving to the UK. Do South Africans need a UK Visitor Visa to travel to the UK? South African nationals are regarded as visa nationals by the UK Government. All South African citizens thus need to apply for UK Visitor Visas, before traveling to the UK. V.4097
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CAPE TOWN - The Home Affairs Department says it`s on high alert on the country`s northern borders in the wake of political instability in Zimbabwe. Speaking at Parliament on Wednesday, Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan says the government is not anticipating a huge amount of movement of people at this time. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Southern Africa says it`s in constant contact with counterparts in Zimbabwe, who report that the situation is calm. V.4098
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8 things you need to know about the Zimbabwean exemption permit
15. Nov. 2017 Times Live
  Home Affairs introduces new machine-readable travel documents for refugees
15. Nov. 2017 EWN

Zimbabweans whose seven-year special dispensation visas will run out in December‚ have been given a reprieve. Many had feared they would have to return to Zimbabwe‚ leaving their jobs and homes behind. However, the South Africa government announced that Zimbabweans on special dispensation visas‚ which were issued in 2010 and expire in December‚ can apply for new visas called Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP). V.4100
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Home Affairs Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan says that the new documents are more secure and should facilitate safer travel for refugees. The Home Affairs Department has introduced a new machine-readable travel document for refugees. V.4107
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PS MASILELA, CHIEF IMMIGRATION OFFICER MUST BE REMOVED FROM HOME AFFAIRS
14. Nov. 2017 Swazi Observer
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14. Nov. 2017 SA Good News

Home Affairs Principal Secretary (PS) Anthony Masilela and Acting Chief Immigration Officer Makhosi Simelane should be transferred from the ministry of home affairs. This was said in the House of Assembly when Zombodze Emuva MP Titus Thwala moved that the House adopt the report of the select committee investigating the influx of illegal immigrants, particularly of Asian origin. V.4095
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This week I received a letter from Jackie Verall in the UK who runs school exchange programmes. “I was wondering if I could bore the pants off you with an editorial or a blog about how my little UK company is cutting a swathe through Europe offering high school experiences in South Africa. No, it’s not a plug for my business but just to say how South Africa is booming in Europe and kids are coming a plenty to study and experience the great South African way.” V.4096
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