The South African Government has announced a number of measures within the last few days that will have far reaching implications for undocumented Zimbabweans in South Africa.
The main reason why the South African government Deployed the Army will become clearer within the coming few weeks.
South Africa under Cyril Ramaphosa is taking a hard line against illegal immigration and crime. The coronavirus pandemic has given the SA government an opportunity to identify and remove illegal immigrants from neighboring Zimbabwe and Mosambique one and for all.
The Sowetan newspaper reported this week that the SA government plans to embark on a program to mass remove 29 settlements. Land has been made available.
The SA government has identified land in 4 provinces where residents of informal settlements will be moved to.
Human settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu said all this sill be done within the next 21 days.
Success of Lockdown
The current Lockdown has had massive impact on the South African economy. The South African government will be unwise to let this massive exercise go to waste.
It is reasonable to expect that the SA SA government will seek to achieve a number of other objectives beside just flattening the Coronavirus curve.
Minister Lindiwe Sisulu of Human Settlements and Patricia Delille in Public Works have already announced key programs relating to cleaning up the country.
Removal of illegal immigrants will be the next most important program and I anticipate that this will be an SANDF Military lesson program.
Let me explain why:
There are currently over 4 Million illegal immigrants across South Africa.
So far, corruption at Home Affairs and Porus Borders have allowed the numbers of illegal immigrants to reach uncontrollable numbers.
With the Border fence now almost complete and everyone sitting in one place, the army can now go in door to door and fish out all illegal immigrants for mass deportation.
This is an opportunity that the SA government will never get again and I am certain that before the end of the 21 days, deportations will start.
Furthermore , many Zimbabweans and Mozambicans survive on informal work and begging. After the Lockdown they are unlikely to be allowed to come back into the roads.
While locals will welcome forced relocations, tor for foreigners this will mean the beginning of new problems. There is no way the South African government is going to allocate land to illegal foreigners when forced relocations take place.
Instead, it is almost certain that illegal immigrants will quickly be identified and removed back to their own countries during this 21 lockdown period.
South Africa is at a crossroads. Up to this point, the government of SA has let down neighbouring countries with their tolerance for poor governance in neighboring Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has contributed to the deterioration of South Africa, while the ANC government believed they were benefiting from the problems there. At present, its clear that the benefits of a collapsing Zimbabwe are no longer there.
South Africa is now being forced to deal with the reality of high crime rate and unemployment and the impending recession. They are being forced to act, and soon they will be forced to speak up against the situation in Zimbabwe.
However, the urgent task for now,is the removal of hundreds of thousands of illegal Zimbabwean immigrants.