Illegal migrants flee SA COVID-19 surge

Beitbridge border-post, Zimbabwe

from NDABENI MLOTSHWA in Beitbridge, Zimbabwe
BEITBRIDGE, (CAJ News) A TOTAL of 1 777 undocumented Zimbabweans have left South Africa over the past month apparently over the worsening coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to the world’s migration agency, 1 022 of the returnees in June had left South Africa voluntarily.

A total of 108 Zimbabweans during the period have returned home under the assistance programme provided by the International Office of Migration (IOM).

IOM disclosed that 47 Zimbabweans had been deported by South African authorities.

The migration agency revealed that 12 of these nationals were ex-convicts that had been deported after serving their sentences in South Africa.

IOM reported these movements at the Beitbridge Border Post.

South Africa is experiencing a surge of the deadly COVID-19, which has seen some foreign nationals from neighbouring countries opt to return home.

As of yesterday (today, Wednesday), the country had confirmed 4 346 deaths from 298 292 cases of the virus.

IOM disclosed that 13 757 exits were recorded at Beitbridge crossing point in June.

Excluding Zimbabweans, some migrants were on transit, a majority of them to Zambia (58 percent).

Others were heading back to Malawi (32%), the Democratic Republic of Congo ‘DRC’ (3%) as well as Mozambique and Tanzania (1%) each.

“However it should be noted that the data on the final destinations of migrants is based on their declaration and must be taken with caution as they only indicate an intention,” IOM stated.

Millions of migrants from the continent have for decades entered South Africa in search of economic opportunities and political asylum.

South Africa is the most infected country in the entire African continent whilst globally Mzansi is ranked 9th after the United States (3,545,692), Brazil (1,931,204), India (937,844), Russia (746,369), Peru (333,867), Chile (319,493), Mexico (311,486) and Spain (303,699) respectively.

– CAJ News

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