Hundreds of Zimbabwean teachers who hold the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEPs) this week applied for the SA Educators Council certificate to avoid deportation from South Africa.
The ZEP special permits expired on 31 December 2021, but the South African Government gave the holders, who are estimated to be around 200 000, a grace period of 12 months to apply for other permits.
Speaking to NewsDay on Tuesday, Zimbabwe Community in South Africa (ZCSA) chairperson Ngqabutho Mabhena said:
This week as schools are opening in South Africa, most teachers (Zimbabwean) are trying to get their SA Educators Council certificates.
Some have submitted their applications and officials from the SA Council of Educators are saying they will sit this week to make a determination on how to handle issues of holders of ZEPs.
So we await the meeting of the SA Education Council this week so that they give guidance on how they are going to proceed because if they do not accept, the permits will expire on December 31, 2022, then we are going to have a crisis.
Reports suggest that over 10 000 Zimbabwean teachers who left the country to seek greener pastures are based in South Africa.
Meanwhile, South African opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, who is considered a Pan Africanist, recently expressed concern over the high number of foreigners employed in South Africa.
In a video clip circulating on social media, Malema said he wanted to know why South African employers in the hospitality industry were employing more foreigners than locals. Said Malema:
We are poor, we are unemployed and we want jobs but if you go to a restaurant, foreigners are working in restaurants, do not hate foreigners, hate the owner of that restaurant because those foreigners did not hire themselves.
We do not fight with our African brothers, we are together, but if I get a tender, the law says you must hire locally. Why is that law not applied in Hilton hotels?
Why is that law not applying in Signature restaurants in Johannesburg? Every hospitality industry must be visited.
It’s a programme of the EFF. Do not fight our African brothers and sisters. They did not hire themselves.