News / Africa

S. Africa’s New Immigration Laws Worry Zimbabwean Immigrants

South Africa’s Tough New Immigration Laws Worry Zimbabwean Immigrantsi
X
June 13, 2014 12:08 PM
Four years ago, the South African government granted amnesty to hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans -- who had fled to that country seeking asylum from political violence at home. But now, the Pretoria government is tightening its immigration laws -- a move which could make it difficult for many Zimbabweans to remain. For VOA, Thuso Khumalo has more from Johannesburg.
Four years ago, the South African government granted amnesty to hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans -- who had fled to that country seeking asylum from political violence at home.  But now, the Pretoria government is tightening its immigration laws -- a move which could make it difficult for many Zimbabweans to remain. 

Turmoil in Zimbabwe over the years has forced huge numbers of Zimbabweans -- to flee into neighboring South Africa.
 
Some officials estimate that two million Zimbabweans now live in the country.

But life here has not been easy. Those who fled political violence have to line up for days -- sometimes even at night -- to apply for asylum.

Many of these immigrants say tough new immigration laws have made their lives difficult.

Under the new laws announced in May, some 300,000 Zimbabweans who were given amnesty permits are now required to return home to extend their visa.

Zimbabwean immigrant Dorcas Mero -- who is now bedridden after a serious road accident --said the new law has brought her life to a standstill. “I’m worried and I’m afraid as well, if they deport me in this situation, I’m afraid,” she said.
 
Her husband, Gift Nhidza, who was injured in the same accident, is in a similar predicament. “I’m very bitter about these new laws and I think the new minister of Home Affairs should revisit and engage the people about their problems,” he added.

Bishop Paul Verryn, of the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg, compares the new immigration laws to those from South Africa's discriminatory past. "It feels as if we are dealing with the same kind of complications as we dealt with, with the past laws in the old apartheid era,” he explained. 

These immigrants say their fate is now in the hands of the South African government.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: kollen from: kwaMashu
July 06, 2014 4:14 AM
why zimbabwean at least they got permit,why cant you do the same to the Nigerian,malawian,congolese,its like you are holding a grudge.there are lots of foreigners who are walking freely without even a permit but now you puting a hard blow to zim pple who are legally staying,but dont forget that you are also a human being like the zimbabwean next to you,I will never allow you to stand on my way,and noone will go back,what we did to apply here is the same way we are doing.do you think the our emloyer will wait fo us once we go back to zim and who will give me money to come back,YOU ARE TOO HARSH to innocent pple.

by: collen from: kenfield
July 05, 2014 4:10 PM
what about our pakage since we were employed pwerminantly,our kids with the south african woman,our UIF and our persion,plus we are not scared bcose the day i came here you didnt gave me money.you deport me today i came back the following day,i cant let my family die when i know where i can get food,its going to b a war watch my words,we are there one supporting our parents no mugabe or tsvangirai those are there to see us suffer,

by: Revai from: Scotland
June 22, 2014 1:18 AM
Dzokerai kumba
In Response

by: Patty Shayne from: UK
June 22, 2014 4:07 AM
Easy for u to say. Why don't you go back home as well?

by: prince from: jhb
June 16, 2014 4:23 AM
Such is life to us zimbabweans ,it never rains it pours,now it will be back to border jumping! We have to survive ,back home things r bad.

by: Sammy
June 13, 2014 2:27 PM
Briefly it would help if VOA mentioned what these new regulations were.
In Response

by: Patty Shayne from: UK
June 22, 2014 4:02 AM
True, I agree with you Sammy
In Response

by: thandeka from: jhb
June 14, 2014 2:05 AM
We have too much going on to us South Africans alone we don't need to deal with Zimbabwe as well, they should go back to their country. I wish SA was strict as Botswana

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More