Zimbabweans based in South Africa ( Injiva) have complained about the steep cost of coming home during this festive season which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chronicle reports.
Travelers now require a COVID-19 free certificate to come home which costs R850 and on their way back to their bases in January they will need a second test that costs around $60 in Zimbabwe on top of transportation and other costs to be incurred before, during, and after the holiday.
The publication spoke to one Zimbabwean from Lupane who is based in South Africa Janet Mthimkulu who said:
This will be the most expensive journey back home because now I must spend R850 for the Covid-19 test here in Johannesburg, a day before I board a bus to Bulawayo.
R850 is a lot of money for a domestic worker like myself who works as a maid for a white family here in Johannesburg. That money alone is enough for a bus ticket to Bulawayo or to buy my two kids new clothes for Christmas.
This Covid-19 disease is really wreaking havoc in our lives, first it was job losses for a majority of Zimbabweans living here and now we have to bear the cost of tests to travel back home.
The two tests will cost about R1 800 and if I add the local transport costs to the laboratories, it easily adds up to R2 000. That is a lot of money, which I should be using for other things such as school uniforms for my kids.
I haven’t even factored in bus fare which costs R1 200 for a return trip to Johannesburg, more money to travel to my rural home from Bulawayo, groceries for the family and school fees for the children next year when schools open
Another Injiva based on the border in Musina Marvellous Moyo said:
Though borders were opened for us to travel back home, I could not. My only means of sustaining a living is through selling food at this place. The little money I am getting since we were allowed to go back to business is not enough to meet the travel costs including Covid-19 tests,
When contacted for comment the Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe said there is nothing the government can do about the COVID-19 test because the government is trying to curb spreading the coronavirus hence the need to get everyone coming home tested before entering the country.