Following the declaration of the state of national disaster, and the subsequent
nationwide lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of novel coronavirus [Covid-19] in
South Arica, the Embassy of Zimbabwe in South Arica has been reaching out to
Zimbabweans within South Africa who are faced with numerous challenges.

The Embassy subsequently received plentiful distress calls from some Zimbabwean
nationals who are in South Africa. The Embassy was inundated with requests varying
{tom appeals or help with food supplies, pleas for from Zimbabweans with own means
to travel back home, and petitions from Zimbabwean nationals in need of
transportation back home.

To that end, the Embassy sought travel permits for Zimbabweans who were in need
of self-repatriation, using own transport as well as buses, from South Africa’s
Department of international Relations ané Cooperation [DIRCO] and many have since
travelled back home while others are still waiting for their travel permits. There are
buses set to ferry Zimbabwean nationals back home, under the sell-funded
‘repatriation where the travellers pay for their own transportation.

There are buses set to transport Zimbabweans back home, with the carrying capacity
Strictly limited to 70 per cent in order to comply with South Africa’s current lockdown
regulations for public transport.

A considerable number of the requests received by the Embassy are for assisted on
‘humanitarian grounds from Zimbabwean nationals who, during this lockdown in South
Africa, are no longer able to sustain their stay in the country due to loss of incomes.

The Embassy is pleased to announce that through a close partnership with Mr Justice
Maphosa, the Chief Executive and Founder of Bigtime Strategic Group, transport has
now been availed for Zimbabwean nationals who could not afford to travel back home
to be assisted in making the one-way trip.

The generous assistance provided by Mr Maphosa will cover the cost of hiring buses.
for around 400 Zimbabwean nationals, the provision of food for the travellers on the
trip, and a provision of food and personal protective equipment while in quarantine in

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Migration
‘Agency is providing technical support to the Embassy in planning and carrying out
this humanitarian repatriation exercise. The technical support includes coordination of
pre-departure arrangements, pre-embarkation medical check and distribution of
COVID-19 related awareness material.

The pre-embarkation checks will be done before every trip. It should also be noted
that upon crossing into Zimbabwe, all the returnees are subjected to mandatory
quarantine at designated centres. The costs thereof are carried by the Government of

Subsequent communication will be made regarding the assistance for distressed
Zimbabwean nationals who elect to remain within the borders of South Africa,


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