01. Jun. 2023 News24

Zimbabwe facing myriad `traditional` obstacles ahead of general elections

A tanking economy, lawfare, a shrinking civic space, propaganda, an electoral body under fire and disinformation have all come to the fore ahead of general elections in Zimbabwe. President Emmerson Mnangagwa has gazetted Wednesday, 23 August as the election date. Political parties have three months to convince the electorate to cast their votes for them. If there is a run-off, it will be held on 2 October. Various think tanks predict a close race between Mnangagwa and his biggest challenger, Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). The latest survey on the elections by US institute Fitch Solutions predicted a Mnangagwa victory because of the ruling party`s access to state machinery and resources. Zanu-PF`s overarching resources and influence compared to the opposition CCC, headed by Chamisa, will preserve its support in rural strongholds and win key votes in low-income urban areas.
`Central to our belief that Zanu-PF will win the elections is the party`s far greater political and economic resources it has to sway the vote in its favour,` the organisation said.

Almost all surveys forecasted the elections, while not free and fair, would have violent episodes, and the outcome would leave Zimbabwe`s economy in the doldrums.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission under fire

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will again oversee an election where its reputation is at its lowest.

Some of its commissioners have direct links to individuals with a vested interest in the elections.

One of them is Abigail Mohadi-Ambrose who is the daughter of former vice president Kembo Mohadi.

Mohadi stepped down from the government in 2021 after a sex scandal, which he claimed was fabricated by his political enemies.

However, he remains an integral part of Zanu-PF`s election bid, going around the country campaigning for the party.

READ | Zimbabwe vice president Kembo Mohadi resigns

The ZEC`s biggest headache is the voters` roll.

Opposition political parties have implored the electoral body to investigate anomalies found in the voters` roll such as missing names.

`Registered voters, who appeared on the biometric voters` roll`s online inspection platform, are suddenly finding their names missing from the current online platforms.

`The voters` roll, under inspection, seems not to be synchronised with the new delimitation boundaries.

`Therefore, prospective voters have been displaced from their wards,` Ian Makone, the CCC`s secretary for elections, wrote to the ZEC.

The Election Resource Centre, an independent organisation, told journalists it looked like `the voters` roll has been tampered with and cannot, therefore, be trusted to deliver a credible election in its current rushed format`.

Failing economy

Brian Moyo is a forex dealer by day and a street vendor by night, selling groceries at a time when the local dollar is fast losing value against major currencies such as the in-demand US dollar.

`These are the two most lucrative hustles for an unemployed person with or without political links,` Moyo said.

On the streets, US$1 can fetch as much as Z$4 500, whereas the official bank states US$1 is equivalent to Z$1 965.

That means when pricing goods, shops must abide by the official bank rate, but they defy this by pegging their product well above that rate.

One of the leading companies in Zimbabwe, Innscor, a fast-food chain, pegged its products at US$1 to Z$2 900 on Wednesday.

The rate is much higher in pharmacies, where it can reach Z$4 500.

A pharmacy owner said:

We increased our prices in the local dollar because we buy foreign currency from the streets.
For an ordinary Zimbabwean earning in the local currency, the cost of living is high.

Mnangagwa said he believed the business community was hell-bent on destabilising his government.

`We see business destabilising the macroeconomy and, in the process, undermining the very effort towards arrears clearance and dent resolution,` presidential spokesman George Charamba told state media.

Businessman James Ncube told News24 the economy was much harder to deal with than party politics.

`They can rig elections, but they cannot rig the economy. We buy fuel, a factor of production, in foreign currency, and we get that currency from the streets; the government has failed to assist us in many more aspects,` he said.

Like all industries, the media has also been hard hit.

State media journalists, who mostly promote the government`s messaging of an economy on the rebound, recently told their employer they were being incapacitated.

Some even hinted their situation would derail the ruling party`s chances of an election win.

Journalists from the independent press have echoed the same sentiment.

Many feel the state of the economy and their employers` failure to increase their salaries will affect their mandate in covering the run-up to and the eventual polls.

The African Development Bank told Zimbabwe`s government politics played a big role in the country`s economic woes and a free and fair election would boost the country`s prospects.


With three months to go before the polls, Mnangagwa is expected to sign the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill into law.

Its implementation will undermine freedom of association and expression.

According to Amnesty International, `the bill threatens civic society organisations working on human rights in Zimbabwe`.

Another law the regime intends to pass ahead of the elections is the Patriotic Bill, which gives the National Prosecuting Authority the power to, at its discretion, charge people who undermine or use false statements to paint a bad picture of Zimbabwe to foreign governments.

But in reality, the law will muzzle journalists, critics, and the opposition from exposing corruption to the world, which according to it would be unpatriotic.

One of the ruling party`s fiercest critics, Job Sikhala of the CCC and a legislator for Zengeza, has been in prison for almost a year.

As things stand, with the nomination court sitting on 21 June, he might not be around to file his papers.

Instead, his son, Job junior, might stand on a CCC ticket.

Sikhala`s arrest for alleged violence appears to be politically motivated, similar to that of Transform Zimbabwe president Jacob Ngarivhume.

Ngarivhume was convicted and sentenced to 48 months in jail for inciting public violence. He is serving an effective 36 months.

His jailing emanates from anti-corruption protests in July 2021.

Speaking at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, which was held earlier this month, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the arrests were a scare tactic to deter those who intended to oppose the government.

`The government`s war against freedom and its weaponisation of the law against myself and other government critics, such as Job Sikhala and Jacob Ngarivhume, is calculated to send a chilling message to the rest of society.

`We`re watching you, even on Twitter. And this is the punishment you get for participating in opposition politics,` she added.

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27. Sep. 2023 SA Migration

How to get documents from Home Affairs in South Africa

Getting documents from Home Affairs in South Africa can be very time consuming. Let make the process easier for you. The Department of Home Affairs is proposing major changes to ID cards in the country. In South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs is responsible for issuing civic certificates and documents, including marriage, death, and birth certificates. They also issue Letters of No Impediment and divorce decrees to South African citizens, but what is the best and fastest way to obtain these documents from Home Affairs? V.4998

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27. Sep. 2023 SA Migration

Waiver Letter Immigration South Africa for Visas

The immigration act for South Africa allows for the Minister of Home Affairs to waive certain requirements of the act. Once the requirement has been waived, an individual or corporation will be exempt from that requirement in that instance. In layman’s terms that means that the minister has the authority through the immigration act to waive a specific requirement. In order to be granted the waiver, an applicant must have a “good cause” to be granted. Your application for a waiver must be 100% sound and have good reasoning as the good cause must convince the Department of Home Affairs as to why they need to make an exemption for you. The applicant must prove that there is sufficient evidence to waive the requirement or form and then the Department of Home Affairs shall determine to either grant or refuse the waiver. V.4999

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26. Sep. 2023 SA Migration

Ways to get your police clearance certificate quickly

Find out the process of applying for a police clearance (SAPS365) and how Sa migration can help you get yours in as little as 7 days. Efficient ways to get your police clearance certificate quickly: Many South Africans know it can take a long time sometimes weeks or even months to get a police clearance certificate from the South African Police Service (SAPS). During the first half of 2022, SAPS had even more delays because their main office was closed. This made it take even longer to process these certificates at the Criminal Records Centre in Pretoria. V.4992

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26. Sep. 2023 News24

Stellenbosch Business School director resigns following visa challenges

Professor Mark Smith is leaving the Stellenbosch Business School. Supplied • Stellenbosch Business School director Professor Mark Smith has had to resign from the position he held since 2020. • News24 understands this development is related to challenges with securing appropriate visas for his family. • The university says it continues to support ongoing discussions with Universities South Africa and the Home Affairs Department to `smooth out visa processes`. Stellenbosch Business School director Professor Mark Smith has resigned from his position, which he has held since 2020. News24 understands this development was a result of his family not being able to secure appropriate visas to reside in South Africa. V.4993

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26. Sep. 2023 News24

Germany`s housing sector slumps into crisis

• Hundreds of homeowners-to-be across Germany have been left in the lurch as builders go out of business. • A jump in interest rates and material costs has seen twice as many developers file for insolvency over the last year than during the previous 12 months. • The German government on Monday offered a new package of measures to help ease the pressure. Valeriy Shevchenko felt like he made the purchase of his lifetime when he beat a queue of prospective buyers to secure a two-bedroom apartment in one of Berlin`s most popular districts. Two years on, the 33-year-old`s housing dreams have come crashing down after the developer of his new home, Project Immobilien, went bankrupt. Hit by a sudden jump in interest rates and raw material costs, twice as many developers have filed for insolvency over the last year than during the previous 12 months. V.4994

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26. Sep. 2023 News24

Digital nomads: How SA labour laws affect foreign employers, employees and remote workers

In the modern world of employment in which South Africa is fast being recognised as a destination of choice for remote workers, foreign employers must take care to align the employment contract to the appropriate system of law, says Bradley Workman-Davies. The Labour Relations Act (LRA), among other important functions, regulates the rights of employees whose contract of employment has been terminated, and affords the employee the right to refer a dispute to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) upon receipt of such notice. However, the position of an employee who needs to rely on legal protection in terms of labour law within the framework of diplomatic immunity remains V.4995

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26. Sep. 2023 SA Migration

Unabridged vs. Abridged vs. Vault Birth and Marriage Certificates from Home Affairs

Abridged birth and/or marriage certificates merely indicate the most basic details pertaining to the person to whom the document is issued. Obtaining documents from Home Affairs is generally a tedious and somewhat confusing exercise, but perhaps the trickiest part of the whole exercise is figuring out which documents you need to apply for. Do you need an abridged, unabridged, or vault copy of your official South African document? Or perhaps all three? Why are there three versions of each document, and what are the differences between them?, a document concierge service provider, provides some much-needed clarity on the topic… V.4996

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26. Sep. 2023 SA Migration

The Letter of No Impediment for South Africans

What is a Letter of No Impediment, why is it important? shares with South Africans all about it and how to obtain yours quickly A Letter of No Impediment is of paramount importance for South African citizens when traveling abroad. But what exactly is this document, what purpose does it serve, and what’s the fastest route to obtaining one if you need it? This article delves into the topic and aims to answer all these questions. V.4997

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20. Sep. 2023 Daily Maverick

Home Affairs in court for ‘blocking’ identity documents

No ID, no life. This is the fate of many children in South Africa who are victims of their parent’s IDs being “blocked” by the Department of Home Affairs. Their births are never registered or are registered very late; their parents cannot access child support and other grants; they are excluded from or discriminated against at school; they struggle to access health care and immunisation programmes. Without an identity number they are “invisible” to the state. These are the submissions of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, represented by the Centre for Child Law, admitted as an amicus curiae in a case to be argued this week in the Pretoria High Court. V.4986

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20. Sep. 2023 News24

Motsoaledi tells Parliament what is needed for home affairs dept to operate more efficiently

• Aaron Motsoaledi says his department will operate more efficiently with a staff contingency of 60%. • The Department of Home Affairs currently operates at 39 to 42% capacity. • Motsoaledi says backlogs may never be solved if the department does not improve its operational capacity. Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says the Department of Home Affairs needs a staff contingency of 60% to operate optimally - but, currently, it falls short of this target, despite pleas to the National Treasury V.4987

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20. Sep. 2023 The citizen

Motsoaledi has made up his mind’: ZEP non-renewal will affect many lives, court hears

There are no prospects of success for Home Affairs` appeal application, according to the respondents. The Helen Suzman Foundation has insisted that Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s decision to terminate the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) programme without formal consultation was not in line with the law. The full bench of the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard the Department of Home Affairs’ leave to appeal application on Monday. V.4988

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19. Sep. 2023 News24

Italy to detain migrants for up to 18 months, as 10 000 people land on one small island in a week

Italy is trying to deter an influx of migrants with a set of new measures. 10 000 migrants arrived on the shores of Lampedusa island last week, more than doubling the island`s population. Illegal immigrants may soon be detained for up to 18 months while they await repatriation. The Italian government, struggling with a surge in migrant arrivals, will pass measures on Monday to lengthen the time migrants can be held and to ensure more people who have no right to stay are repatriated, officials said V.4985

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15. Sep. 2023 Reuters

Nigeria`s power grid has collapsed again, causing nationwide blackouts

• Nigerian distributors say the country suffered a total grid collapse on Thursday. • Much the country remains without power. • Load shedding is implemented in South Africa to guard against grid collapse. Nigeria`s electricity distribution companies reported `a total system collapse` on Thursday, causing widespread blackouts across Africa`s biggest economy. Power generation fell to zero in the early hours and had risen to 273 megawatts (MW) by 10:30 still well below the daily average of 4 100 MW, data from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) showed. TCN did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Grid power supply is erratic in Nigeria, a major oil and gas pro V.4983

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15. Sep. 2023 News24

Australia promises 20 years in jail for training Chinese pilots; SA school targeted isn`t worried

Australia`s defence minister Richard Marles introduced an amendment to parliament that seeks to introduce a 20-year prison term for providing military training to a foreign military. Pat Hoelscher/AFP • Australia plans to send any resident who trains a foreign military to jail for up to 20 years. • Draft legislation seems to have the Test Flying Academy of South Africa firmly in its crosshairs. • The company says the change will not affect its operations in any way just as US sanctions didn`t. Australia plans to introduce tough new penalties for any resident involved in training a foreign military not closely allied to that country. V.4984

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13. Sep. 2023 Daily Maverick

We are legal ghosts, Somali family’s bitter struggle to get refugee status in SA

The Department of Home Affairs is now giving appointments for refugees to apply for asylum only in 2025, even though they are required to present themselves at a Refugee Reception Office within five days of their arrival in the country. The legal team for a Somali family that has been harassed by law enforcement, refused medical assistance and given a date to apply for asylum 18 months down the line, has called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to intervene and support their court case against the Department of Home Affairs. “We are legal ghosts,” Abdullahi Osman Shale said in an affidavit explaining the suffering inflicted on his family by the Department of Home Affairs. V.4981

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13. Sep. 2023 Daily Maverick

South Africa’s visa regime keeps out badly needed skilled workers

The government is blocking the potential that foreign workers can bring to South Africa’s stagnant economy. South Africa’s work visa regime is laborious, lengthy and inefficient. The process deters foreign investment, widens the skills gap and throttles productivity, economic growth and development. Between 2015 and 2021, only 16,097 critical skilled-worker permits were approved by the Department of Home Affairs. At an average of just more than 2,200 a year, that amounts to a rejection rate of 52%, for an economy with a sizeable skills deficit. The business visa rejection rate over the same period is even higher, at 68%. V.4982

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12. Sep. 2023 News24

Istanbul is as alluring as ever... and SA travellers can get free visas and hotel stays

• Istanbul is still one of the world`s most alluring cities for global travellers. • And for South Africans, it`s one of the cheapest and easiest to visit. • Türkiye issues e-visas immediately at no cost. • And Turkish Airlines, which flies direct to South Africa seven days per week, offers free overnight hotel stays or day tours to those on layovers in Istanbul. • Here`s what to see and do - and how to capitalise on a free extended layover in Istanbul. `If the world were a single country,` Ibrahim says as we gather speed along the western edge of the Bosphorus Strait, `then Istanbul would be its capital`. It`s 16:00 on a Thursday, and the temperature is still hovering somewhere around 30 degrees. The afternoon sunlight reflects off the floor-to-ceiling windows of the waterside stone palaces, their designs influenced by the world`s most powerful empires, and onto the small turquoise waves cresting around us. V.4979

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12. Sep. 2023 News24

Ramaphosa considers cutting number of government departments in South Africa

The National Treasury has reportedly written several proposals to reduce the number of government departments in South Africa. According to the Sunday Times, a secret meeting was held in Stellenbosch, where several key figures discussed these proposals. These include President Cyril Ramaphosa, finance minister Enoch Godongwana, and several top officials from National Treasury and the Reserve Bank. If accepted, these proposals would reportedly save the government about R17 billion in spending but at the cost of lost jobs. Examples of how the proposed cuts would work include: • Closing the Department of Sports, Arts, and Culture and incorporating its duties into the Department of Basic Education. • Closing the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and requiring departments to manage their own buildings and assets. • Merging the Department of Tourism with the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition. V.4980

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11. Sep. 2023 The Conversation

For the marginalised, biased AI algorithms can damage almost every part of life

AI data is polluted by a set of myths from the age of “enlightenment”, including biases that lead to discrimination based on gender and sexual identity. • Bad data does not only produce bad outcomes. It can also help to suppress sections of society, for instance vulnerable women and minorities. • Algorithms generally need to be exposed to data often taken from the internet in order to improve at whatever they do, such as screening job applications, or underwriting mortgages. • But the training data often contains many of the biases that exist in the real world. Bad data does not only produce bad outcomes. It can also help to suppress sections of society, for instance vulnerable women and minorities. V.4977

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11. Sep. 2023 Businesstech

Difficult trade-offs coming to keep South Africa afloat: report

The National Treasury has reported told president Cyril Ramaphosa that South Africa will have to hike value-added tax (VAT) by 1% or 2% if it wants to keep the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant going. According to the Sunday Times, this message was among many delivered at a top-level meeting called by the president this week, following the release of a Treasury memo to various departments warning of budget cuts. South Africa has effectively hit its budget limit, with revenues not meeting the February budget expectations, while government spending has continued to balloon far beyond what was planned. To avoid financial collapse, sacrifices now have to be made. V.4978

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27. Sep. 2023 SA Migration

How to get documents from Home Affairs in South Africa

Getting documents from Home Affairs in South Africa can be very time consuming. Let make the process easier for you. The Department of Home Affairs is proposing major changes to ID cards in the country. In South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs is responsible for issuing civic certificates and documents, including marriage, death, and birth certificates. They also issue Letters of No Impediment and divorce decrees to South African citizens, but what is the best and fastest way to obtain these documents from Home Affairs? V.4998

Click here for full article


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