COVID-19 unemployment grant: Good news for foreigners living in South Africa

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A South African High Court has ruled that refugees and asylum seekers, including Zimbabweans, in that country should be included in COVID-19 unemployment grants.

The Pretoria High Court on Friday ordered the government to include immigrants, among them Zimbabweans, in the COVID-19 unemployment grant, eNCA reported.

The court declared directions issued by Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu unconstitutional and unlawful.

It found that it excluded certain groups from accessing the R350 grant.

The minister has been given five days to quantify the costs of extending the grant and another five days to publish amended regulations.

A number of Zimbabweans in South Africa have been forced to return to Zimbabwe as employment opportunities in the neighbouring country dwindled in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Beitbridge has seen a doubling of traffic in the past few days, as Zimbabweans, out of work in the neighbouring country, have decided to return home.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, South Africa introduced social grants for its citizens, but refugees and asylum seekers were left out despite that they were also affected by the outbreak.

Authorities in that country have hinted that in future, businesses that employ more South Africans would be eligible for bailouts compared to those that have more migrants on their books.

Xenophobic violence regularly erupts in South Africa with locals often accusing migrants of taking their jobs and business opportunities.

It is estimated that there are up to 3 million Zimbabweans in South Africa.

Frustrated by lack of opportunities and often misgovernance in their countries, millions of people make the trek to South Africa annually.

While South Africa offers many opportunities, locals fear that the influx of migrants is depriving them of government support and economic opportunities.

— NewsDay


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