Govt Finally Offers Free Transport For Zimbabweans Coming Out Of South Africa
13 May 2020
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The government of Zimbabwe has finally announced that it is offering free transport for its nationals who are stuck in South Africa to enable them to return home. The government had initially assisted Zimbabweans in South Africa who could afford to pay for their own fares by getting buses to transport them from Johannesburg to Beitbridge for R600.

The government has now announced that it is now in a position to help those who want to be repatriated back home but who do not have any funds. This comes after businessman Justice Maphosa of Bigtime Strategic Group has generously donated funds for transportation, food and personal protective equipment for the stranded Zimbabweans. This will allow at least 400 Zimbabweans to be repatriated back home.

Below is a communique from the Zimbabwe Consulate in Johannesburg which iHarare is publishing in full,



Following the declaration of the state of national disaster, and the subsequent

nationwide lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of novel coronavirus [Covid-19] in

South Arica, the Embassy of Zimbabwe in South Arica has been reaching out to

Zimbabweans within South Africa who are faced with numerous challenges.

The Embassy subsequently received plentiful distress calls from some Zimbabwean

nationals who are in South Africa. The Embassy was inundated with requests varying

{tom appeals or help with food supplies, pleas for from Zimbabweans with own means

to travel back home, and petitions from Zimbabwean nationals in need of

transportation back home.

To that end, the Embassy sought travel permits for Zimbabweans who were in need

of self-repatriation, using own transport as well as buses, from South Africa’s

Department of international Relations ané Cooperation [DIRCO] and many have since

travelled back home while others are still waiting for their travel permits. There are

buses set to ferry Zimbabwean nationals back home, under the sell-funded

‘repatriation where the travellers pay for their own transportation.

There are buses set to transport Zimbabweans back home, with the carrying capacity

Strictly limited to 70 per cent in order to comply with South Africa’s current lockdown

regulations for public transport.

A considerable number of the requests received by the Embassy are for assisted on

‘humanitarian grounds from Zimbabwean nationals who, during this lockdown in South

Africa, are no longer able to sustain their stay in the country due to loss of incomes.

The Embassy is pleased to announce that through a close partnership with Mr Justice

Maphosa, the Chief Executive and Founder of Bigtime Strategic Group, transport has

now been availed for Zimbabwean nationals who could not afford to travel back home

to be assisted in making the one-way trip.

The generous assistance provided by Mr Maphosa will cover the cost of hiring buses.

for around 400 Zimbabwean nationals, the provision of food for the travellers on the

trip, and a provision of food and personal protective equipment while in quarantine in


The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Migration

‘Agency is providing technical support to the Embassy in planning and carrying out

this humanitarian repatriation exercise. The technical support includes coordination of

pre-departure arrangements, pre-embarkation medical check and distribution of

COVID-19 related awareness material.

The pre-embarkation checks will be done before every trip. It should also be noted

that upon crossing into Zimbabwe, all the returnees are subjected to mandatory

quarantine at designated centres. The costs thereof are carried by the Government of


Subsequent communication will be made regarding the assistance for distressed

Zimbabwean nationals who elect to remain within the borders of South Africa,