Zimbabwe Exemption Permit: Six months before expiry, Zimbabweans in SA have mixed feelings
BY LENIN NDEBELE
With just six months before the time is up for those in South Africa living under the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP), there are mixed feelings among Zimbabweans, with some wishing for a further extension, while others contemplate going abroad.
The government announced that it would terminate the ZEP on 30 June 2023, a decision that will affect about 180 000 Zimbabweans residing in South Africa.
As early as October, the Zimbabwean government announced that it was prepared for its nationals who were coming home to start a new life and would assist them with transport and other logistics.
While there has been no sign of it backing its words with action, there has been an influx of travellers from South Africa into Zimbabwe.
Between 5-10 December, 62 770 people entered Zimbabwe through the Beitbridge border.
The head of immigration at the border, Cannie Magaya, said although they had no figures yet, on the days leading up to Christmas, there had been an increase in traffic.
She said it could stay like that until early January when people start returning to South Africa.
Brian Moyo, a Zimbabwean working as a teacher in SA, didn’t apply for the special skills visa because he felt it was a waste of time.
While he is going back home in early January, he has set his sights on jobs in China.
He said: “I teach English and that’s not a special skill. I stood a chance as a science or mathematics teacher, as such, applying for other visas was a waste of time for me.
Moyo, before migrating to South Africa, taught at some private schools back home.
He feels his experience there could help him in China.
“There is a demand for teachers in early education in China, and English language is one of the subjects with vacancies. So I am applying for those jobs, and one advantage I have is understanding children’s psychomotor skills and capacity to learn,” he said.
An online search by News24 discovered that salaries for teaching jobs in China range from R70 000 to R120 000, depending on the type of school and level of experience.
In comparison to teaching jobs in southern Africa, Chinese teaching jobs pay way better.
Another opportunity will come into effect in March when the United Kingdom opens up for teachers from South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.
But Moyo said he had not considered that option yet, since it was yet to be offered.
Working in South Africa has also become very difficult for those spending their money in Zimbabwe because of the rand’s volatility against the US dollar, the preferred currency of trade.
During the festive season, R100 is the equivalent of $5.80, but most shops or businesses only value it at $5.
“It’s robbery,” said Steven Tshuma, another Zimbabwean based in South Africa.
He added: “They don’t respect this (rand) currency. One is better off coming from Europe or elsewhere.”
‘I hope my boss comes up with a plan’
With the impending ZEP expiry, he is setting his eyes on the UK, Canada or Australia.
“I am starting a nurse aid course with the Red Cross (in SA) early next year. When done, I will apply for jobs abroad. Many have done it. It works,” he said.
Tshuma works at a restaurant and has come face to face with members of Operation Dudula – a vigilante group that intimidates migrants.
He is worried that, a few months before permits expire, xenophobic attacks could resurface, and that by then they would be extreme, because they would be targeting people who had been outlawed by the government but chose to stay on illegally.
He said: “What excuse would I have to be in SA? They could burn us alive, because first and foremost we would be illegal immigrants and going to report criminal conduct at a police station would be getting yourself arrested.
By the end of October, fewer than 10% of ZEP holders had applied for the available mainstream visas.
An estimated 180 000 ZEP holders will be affected by the 30 June 2023 deadline set by the government.
Shiela Ncube, a domestic worker in Johannesburg, has no plans of leaving the country.
She hopes her boss will find a way around the system to keep her in SA-News24
France’s HDF Energy to develop Zimbabwe’s first hydrogen plant
Zimbabwe’s state-owned electricity distributor has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with French independent power producer HDF Energy (HDF.PA) to develop the southern African country’s first green hydrogen power plant, the companies said in a joint statement on Thursday.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa witnessed the signing of the MoU worth $300 million between the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) and HDF Energy, Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Information said on Twitter.
“The plant will produce green power 24/7 feeding into the grid… The annual electric production will be 178 GWh, providing electricity to more than 220,000 inhabitants,” the statement said, adding that it will be located in southeastern Chipinge district.
HDF said it expected to reach a financial close on the project and start construction in 2024-2025.
The signing of the MoU comes amid Zimbabwe’s bid to diversify its energy mix, following reduced power generation after a big drop in water levels in Lake Kariba.
“This is an encouraging milestone for ZETDC as it comes at a time when the government is encouraging the transition to renewable energy,” engineer John Diya, who was representing the distributor’s acting managing director, said.
Zimbabwe’s government has also set its sights on producing over 1,000 megawatts from solar energy to help narrow the severe energy deficit currently being experienced in the country-Reuters
Binga man brutally murders mother over witchcraft allegations
BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
Kamativi police has arrested a 34 -year – old Binga man who axed his mother to death after accusing her of practicing witchcraft.
Police in a statement confirmed arresting Sumayili Juma off Simbala Village in Binga for a crime that he committed on Tuesday.
The accused allegedly struck his mother on the head and shoulders, killing her instantly at the family’s homestead.
“Police in Kamativi have arrested Sumayili Juma (34) in connection with a case of murder which occurred on 21/03/23 at Kilima 19, Simbala Village, Binga,” police said.
“The suspect struck his mother with an axe on both shoulders and head after accusing her of witchcraft.”
Meanwhile on Sunday, police in Gwelutshena station in Nkayi arrested Prosper Ncube (33) for a murder case in which he allegedly struck Polite Hlabangani on the abdomen with a brick after a misunderstanding during a gambling game at Gwelutshena shopping centre on January 27.
The victim died upon admission at Nkayi District Hospital and since then, the accused had been on the run.
Malawi floods disaster, Zimbabwean government steps in to offer aid
BY BRENDA NCUBE
Zimbabwe has formed a Disaster Relief Committee to assist the government of Malawi following Cyclone Freddy storm that claimed over 400 and caused extensive damage to homes and social services infrastructure.
The pledge, at it’s final craft plans, was presided over by president Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday while Local Government and Public Works ministry was mandated to lead the lobby.
In the aftermath of the storm, thousands of victims suffered injury and displacement, while the affected areas were rendered impassable.
“In response to the appeal for assistance by Malawian President His Excellency Lazarus Chakwera to his fellow SADC Heads of State and Government, Cabinet has constituted a Disaster Relief Committee led by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to draw up a comprehensive assistance package for disaster-stricken Malawi, ” post cabinet minutes read.
“The Committee will liaise with the Government of Malawi on modalities for conveying the relief package.”
Cabinet directed that the mobilization of relief assistance should commence immediately and include 10 000 metric tonnes of mealie meal; cooking oil; blankets; clothing; construction material for cabins; sanitisers, detergents, bath soaps, stationery and other learning materials.
“To widen the scope of donations to Malawi, the government is encouraging the private sector, national institutions and citizens to donate generously to this worthy cause.”
According to the United Nations Office of Humanitarian Affairs, the devastating toll of the floods in Malawi has continued to rise, with at least 438 deaths reported, 918 people injured and 282 missing as of March 17.
The report says that nearly 345 200 people, almost half of them being children, were displaced and sheltered in over 500 camps across flood affected areas, where the risk of cholera in overcrowded camps is high. The Malawian government’ search and rescue operations have continued with more than 1,000 people evacuated by 17 March.
A report by the United Nations Satellite Centre indicated that in an area of 5,000 km² flood waters had increased by about 60km² between March 14 and 17.
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