South Africa imposes 5-year travel bans on Zimbabwean returnees

THE South African immigration officials at the Beitbridge Border Post were on Thursday reportedly imposing a five-year travel ban on Zimbabweans returning from that country.

The officials did not explain why they were imposing the ban.

However, Beitbridge East legislator Albert Nguluvhe (Zanu-PF) said that the bans might be an overreaction considering that some of the returnees were shoppers caught up when the coronavirus-induced lockdown commenced IN South Africa towards the end of March.

“I am not sure if this is the international arrangement, but I think South African immigration officials at Beitbridge are overreacting,” Nguluvhe said.

One hundred and forty-one (141) people have since arrived in the country from South Africa.

The total number of Zimbabweans residing in South Africa is not known with some claiming that it is between two and three million.

South Africa hosts millions of economic and political refugees who have been in the recent past been victims of xenophobia as locals accuse them of taking away their jobs.

Zimbabwe, through its consulate in South Africa, has been repatriating its citizens stuck across the Limpopo as the coronavirus pandemic made them lose jobs and other sources of livelihoods.

However, the returnees have to foot own transport cost home, and are subject to a mandatory three weeks quarantine upon crossing into Zimbabwe.