Report: SA could use Zim migrants’ skills

South Africa could be making better use of Zimbabwean migrants’ skills but current immigration policy makes it difficult, according to a report released by the Centre for Development and Enterprises on Wednesday.

Profiling Zimbabweans in South Africa, researchers found that of 4 654 Zimbabweans surveyed in Johannesburg in 2007, 92% had migrated between 2000 and 2007. Those who left between 2002 and 2006 cited political reasons, but those who left in 2007 cited unemployment.

Most of those surveyed, who were between the ages of 21 and 40, had a matric qualification, with more than 30% holding a post-secondary qualification.

According to the South African Qualifications Authority, of the 17 086 evaluations of qualifications it performed between January and September last year, 9 756 (57%) were for the purposes of Zimbabweans’ work-permit applications.

”This suggests a high level of skills among the migrants,” a statement on the report said.

However, the increasing number of Zimbabweans entering the country without documentation is highlighting weaknesses in South Africa’s migration policy, the Centre for Development and Enterprises said.

Zimbabwean applications for asylum were the second-largest component in a backlog of 144 000 applications by 2007, and an example of pressures on government capacity to deliver.

According to the International Organisation for Migration, 102 413 ”illegal” migrants were repatriated to Zimbabwe between January and June 2007, and by July 2007, 17 000 Zimbabweans were deported each month.

There has been a ”lack of realism and failure of leadership” within South Africa on regional migration, the researchers concluded.

Migration procedures need to be efficient and managed with decisiveness, including every aspect — humanitarian, emergency, economic and political.

Short-term priorities should include alleviating pressure on strained policies and systems — ”systems weakened by poor organisation, bureaucratic incapacity, and corruption, notably in the South African Department of Home Affairs”, the report said. — Sapa

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

‘Justice for Marikana will only be served if we see...

The mineworker union’s Joseph Mathunjwa spoke at the ten-year anniversary of the massacre

US conduct regarding Taiwan evinces a dangerous and ignorant strain...

It underestimates the role of face-saving, which is central to Chinese culture, and the country’s priorities, such as attaining the Chinese Dream

Eskom: Stage two load-shedding tonight

Continued blackouts highly likely on Wednesday and Thursday, the energy entity added

MPs dismiss Mkhwebane’s call to subpoena Ramaphosa

The president’s evidence is not necessary to determine whether she is guilty of misconduct, the section 194 committee concludes

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…