On Thursday night, Ramaphosa extended the national lockdown by two weeks in a move to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus, which has left 18 dead and nearly 2 000 infected in that country. The Zimbabwean Community in South Africa welcomed the decision by the neighbouring country, which is home to an estimated three million Zimbabweans.
“We would like to acknowledge the efforts and actions taken by the South African government. “While many of our compatriots are heavily affected by these measures, we urge them to stay at home and comply with the lockdown regulations,” said the association’s spokesperson, Bongani Mkwananzi.
He added that while they noted with sadness the challenge of not having food and income at this tough moment, it was imperative for everyone to stick to the order to save lives.
Mkwananzi said there were some Zimbabweans who had visited South Africa prior to the lockdown whose permitted number of days to stay in that country have since expired.
“We call upon our compatriots to hang in there! Please continue to stay at home and remain in the republic. “The same lockdown measures are being taken in Zimbabwe and the president of the Republic of South Africa has reiterated that joint efforts to fight the virus are being made with all other African countries. The less movement, the better the chances of not spreading the virus or getting infected by it. We call on the government not to declare those who have overstayed as undesirable.”
Mkwananzi further noted that the association was calling upon all employers in the neighbouring country to facilitate the applications to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to assist those Zimbabweans who have been and should have been making their contributions to the fund, to get their benefits.
“The Zimbabwe Community in SA will be in liaison with all stakeholders who can assist our fellow compatriots to ease their circumstances so as to manage their stay at their homes during this difficult and unexpected situation,” said Mkwananzi.