CHANGE HAS FREED THE FOREIGNERS
By: Nolubabalo Dlamalala
A Zimbabwean young lady shared her mother’s journey to South Africa and how they struggled when they had to pay a large amount of money for Visas.
21-year-old Anita Kawara came to South Africa when she was only three months old because her mother, Janet Kawara, got work. They two came to South Africa in search of a better life. Kawara told us how hard it was for her mother to apply for a visa, which was expensive at the time.
“I used to be proud of my mother as she managed to enter and depart the country at any time,” said Anita Kawara.
She mentioned that the majority of Zimbabweans only have a three month permit to enter South Africa. You would have to have a friend writing a letter confirming your visit and then you would apply for a Visa.
Anita and Janet agree that South Africa is much better than before because foreigners are able to get permits that allow them to work and stay in South Africa. They are also entitled to most of the rights which apply to South African citizens. Anita Kawara said that as long as the legal procedures are followed, they will seldom encounter a problem.
Those procedures are border crossing by road, railway, or at an airport or sea port where there is a proper control with immigration officials and persons as well as customs officials.
Janet Kawara has been travelling from Zimbabwe to South Africa ever since Anita was born. She says that there is a lot of change now.
“There were times when food was not allowed to cross the border because it was believed that we come in with drugs” said Janet Kawara. “We are now allowed to come in with eggs, potatoes and even beans,” she added.
Anita Kawara said she was sure that the World Cup in South Africa made it easier for everyone to enter the country and since then people are enjoying South Africa more than ever.
Clara Ngwane, who has associates that works at the Department of Home Affairs, told us that it is very pleasing that immigrants are given a chance to enter. All they need to do is apply at the Department of Home Affairs and pay a sum of R1 520 for their permits.
They have to have a good reputation and have lived more than five years in the country or perhaps have a parent who is a South African citizen. Ngwane says that she has many foreign friends that would love to come and stay in South Africa because they are impressed by its accommodating constitution.