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Malawians in South Africa want repatriation

Rejoice Shumba

Some Malawians living in South Africa have asked the government to consider providing them with transport for them to come back home due to challenges which they are reportedly facing in the Rainbow Nation following the 21-day Covid-19 lockdown.

A representative of the concerned Malawians, Isaac Mpango, who is in South Africa’s town of Rustenburg, said a lot of casual labourers in South Africa are being evicted from their houses for failure to pay rentals due to the lockdown.

“We are struggling because most of us earn money on a daily basis such that we are unable to get money for food and house rentals. It is hand-to-mount scenario,” Mpango said.

He further claimed that a lot of Malawians and other foreigners in South Africa who are employed in the informal sector are surviving on arms from business owners.

According to Mpango, some landlords have also started disconnecting water and electricity in flats which are rented by foreigners who are failing to pay rent due to the lockdown.

“Surviving without water is a very difficult thing. At the moment, there are indications that the lockdown will be extended because cases of Covid-19 continue to rise here,” he said.

But Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Rejoice Shumba, said they are yet to receive official communication from Malawi’s ambassador in South Africa.

Shumba said the ministry is monitoring the situation in all countries which are onlockdown to see how Malawians are living there.

“We have embassies in most countries including South Africa. And if anything happens involving a Malawian in that particular country, we usually get the information from the embassy and act on it. At the moment, there is nothing from our embassy in South African,” she said.

South Africa is home to thousands of Malawians who migrate there to seek greener pastures. The country is among those that have ordered lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

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