Speaking in Pretoria, Home Affairs Deputy Minister Malusi Gigaba said his department would investigate why people are migrating to South Africa.
“If we have people seeking asylum because of unemployment, that would mean that nearly 20million [unemployed] South Africans could seek asylum in other countries.”
The 90-day visa waiver allows Zimbabweans to stay in South Africa for three months, during which time they are allowed to work, provided they inform an immigration officer beforehand.
They may apply for renewals before their visa expires.
Gigaba said Home Affairs was tightening security at ports of entry in anticipation of a busy festive season and the build-up to the World Cup. He said his officials will pay more attention to human trafficking and to smuggling in the run-up to the tournament.
“Human trafficking has always been a major problem in this country, even before the World Cup.”
Blaming the “absence of coherent legislation”, Gigaba said: “We have always thought [trafficking] was a problem faced only in Europe and the US and had nothing to do with us.”
The department said it would post an extra 150 immigration officers to the busiest entry ports, and mobile units would be sent to Zimbabwe’s Beit Bridge, Botswana’s Kopfontein, and Swaziland’s Lebombo border posts to “address issues of congestion”.
by Zandile Mababela