UK based Zimbabwean socialite Olinda Chapel has warned struggling Zimbabweans in South Africa to go back home. She said it is better for one to struggle while at home than in a foreign land. Life is getting harder every day for many Zimbabweans in South Africa, especially those who have lost their jobs.
“To be honest with you vanhu wari mu South Africa ka, if you cannot get a job, pafeya pafeya my advice is that go back to Zimbabwe. Endai kuhama dzenyu munogara nehama dzenyu zviri nane. Landlord ari kuda rent yacho inobva kupi, at least kana uri ku Zimbabwe uchigara pamba pa amai kana baba pasina rent zvitori nane,” said Chapel.
Zimbabweans working in the hospitality industry such as restaurants and hotels get much of their income from tips.
In April South African Finance minister Tito Mboweni warned businesses to put South Africans first. When he came back from exile in 1990, Mboweni said about 80% of workers in restaurants were South Africans but now it is the opposite.
He said after lockdown things must turn around and companies must ensure that the large part of workers in restaurants are locals.
“The new economy we are getting into after the lifting of lockdown must answer that question. Any establishment wanting to reopen must have a new labour market policy which priorities South Africans but doesn’t discriminate against (foreigners),” said Mboweni.
In March, the Department of Employment and Labour launched a new system called “Impimpi Alive”. This online system allows workers to report errant employers anonymously to the department when they do not comply with the law. Though this is meant to report employers who break the National Minimum Wage Act, it may also come in handy, in case the government wants to implement the plan announced by Mboweni. Workers may still use the same system to report employers who contradict the new employment policy.
With many local businesses struggling to survive the pinching economic consequences of lockdown, Mboweni said those who want bailout must demonstrate an employment policy that favours locals.
Even those who run spaza shops have been warned to shape up or ship out. “Every spaza shop must be registered with a licence to operate and more importantly for me, they must have a bank account and a tax number,” he said.