New migration policy could cut remittances lifeline

The South African government has recently made two moves that stand to imperil future remittances to its neighbouring countries — and, in turn, economic stability in the region.

Towards the end of last year, the government made the decision not to renew the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit regime, which was first introduced in 2009 as a temporary solution to a growing Zimbabwe-related refugee crisis. The permits allowed holders to work, study and conduct business in South Africa.

The permits expired in December 2021 and their holders have until the end of this year to apply for regular ones. If they are unsuccessful, they will have to leave the country or face deportation.

The department of employment and labour has also recently tabled the draft national labour market policy (NLMP), which seeks to clamp down on the hiring of migrant workers in certain sectors.

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Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

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