Zims to embark on regional tour to lobby for SADC work visa

Zims to embark on regional tour to lobby for SADC work visa

I WOKE  up a few days to the news that me and the organisation that l represent,the Zimbabwe Community In South Africa, have been nominated for the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards SA, 2016  edition awards in the community category.

Let me first take this opportunity to thank those who nominated us , the organisers and the sponsors for recognising the little work we do as the leaders of the  Zimbabwe Community In South Africa.

Unfortunately, it is not for us to campaign for the votes as much we did not campaign to be nominated, but we are on cloud nine, and would like to also   wish all the  other nominees good luck. To vote for Cde Mabhena click here

In the past few weeks, we have been discussing the South African Green Paper on International Migration, focusing on aspects that  benefit  Zimbabweans.

As we have said in  previous articles, the proposed SADC Work Visa and the Cross Border Trade Visa seem to be gaining support not only from us within the Zimbabwean Community but from organised labour in South Africa as well.

The introduction of the SADC Work Visa will help  thousands of workers from the SADC region who are undocumented and  are exploited by their employers.

A number of employers take advantage of undocumented workers by paying them low wages, forcing them to work long hours and denying  them the right to join trade unions.

We believe that, if the SADC Work Visa is implemented, employers will be forced by law to respect  employees rights .

Especially lacking , in the farming communities, where employers still practice apartheid methods of calling in the police to arrest the workers for being in the country illegally on month ends, so these greedy employers  benefit from cheap labour  from migrants. The introduction of the SADC Work Visa will provide protection to workers in this sector.

Last Thursday we had  the pleasure to have dinner with some South African government officials in Sandton.

During the discussion  the Green Paper on International Migration, the government officials expressed  concern with some of the  visa proposals.

Their argument was that, why should it be South Africa alone that introduces these Visas as opposed to all SADC states ? In their view, those migrant workers from the region who would have looked for jobs t in some stable SADC States like Botswana and Namibia, will now flock to South Africa and this will have long term effects to South Africa.

Throughout  our meal , we realised that,if their view gain currency in communities and in the corridors of power in South Africa, the proposed visas might not make it to the White Paper on International Migration. This will mean that , the majority of ZSP holders will have to go back home as they do not qualify to migrate to other normal visas  as provided in the Immigration Act.

It is our view that,we lobby civil society in the region so that, the entire SADC reviews its immigration laws, to take into account the movement of unskilled workers across our region.

The Zimbabwe Community In South Africa will  therefore be embarking on a regional tour to lobby civil society and governments to consider seriously the proposals in the South African Home Affairs Green Paper on International Migration with a view of developing the same in their own countries. –Ngqabutho Nicholas Mabhena is the chairman of the  Zimbabwe Community In South Africa and you can email him: ngqabuthomabhena@gmail.com   OR Whatsapp  him on  +27 83 340 1000

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03/11/2016