30 January 2018

South Africa: 150 Malawi Economic Migrants Deported From South Africa

Photo: Nyasa Times
(File photo).

A total of 150 Malawian citizens who were staying in South Africa without proper documents have been deported back to Malawi.

Immigration spokesperson at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, Martin Ngongolo , said the deportees - 148 men and two women - arrived in the country on Monday.

"We have currently received 148 Malawians that were deported from South Africa and we are expecting another group to jet in," he said.

Last December about 300 Malawian citizens were deported by South Afrrica and Zimbabwe deported 72 Malawians for being illegal immigrants.

Gondolo advised Malawians to observe immigration regulations in all countries, saying holding a valid passport is not enough but citizens should familiarise themselves with immigration requirements in all countries they are travelling to.

But the Centre for Development of the People (Cedep) executive director Gift Trapence has called for curbing high levels of unemployment in the country which he said was leading cause to an influx of Malawians leaving the country in search of greener pastures.

Trapence has pointed out that many Malawians, especially the youth, are migrating to countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to look for employment as they cannot sustain themselves here at home due to various economic hardships.

rapence said the country has a lot of graduates who are just sitting idle because they cannot get employment.

"We need a multi-sectoral approach to addressing unemployment as a country. We need to look at all possible ways and create a permanent national programme that will see to it that our industry is able to give jobs to our youth.

"Our industrial sector is very small and it is failing to meet demands for employment. I have not seen a lot of commitment from our politicians in addressing these challenges. The loan schemes they are advancing such as Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (Medf) are short-lived," said Trapence:

In its Global Employment Trends for youth 2015, The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recently indicated that job creation for the world's youth remains an uphill struggle as two out of five economically active youth in most countries including Malawi are unemployed.

The National Statistical Office (NSO) conducted its first ever labour force survey in 2014 and reported that formal unemployment rate in Malawi was at 21 percent.

President Peter Mutharika recently attributed high levels of unemployment in this country to inadequate direct foreign investment. He described the private sector as the engine for growth and development as well as a source of direct revenue and employment.

He promised that his government was putting up measures to ensure that more foreign investors come to Malawi.

According to NSO, the youth constitute 70 percent of the country's population.

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