|  NEWS

New statistics published by Zimstats have revealed that there are 773,246 Zimbabweans living in South Africa, compared to around 574,000 estimated back in 2016.

This accounts for the largest number of emigrants seeking better financial opportunities outside Zimbabwe.

The total number of Zimbabweans living outside the country amounted to 908 913, the statistics agency added.

“The (2022 census) data indicate that the most emigrants from Zimbabwe were based in the southern African region and, in particular, South Africa, with 773,246, and Botswana, with 47,928. For overseas countries, the UK had 23,166 emigrants,” Zimstats said in its Preliminary Report on Migration under the 2022 Housing and Population Census.

The report shows 84% of Zimbabweans who left the country “emigrated for employment reasons”, while 9% and 5% “emigrated for family reasons and study/education,” respectively.

Zimbabwe’s economy continues to suffer the impact of an estimated 80% unemployment, IOL reports, and according to the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions, “about 65% of the already depleted formal sector has been affected by retrenchments” in 2022.

In addition, although there are over 773,000 Zimbabweans settled in South Africa, around 58% of Zimbabwe’s expat population is from South Africa. Initial migration findings from the Zimbabwean census reveal there are 236,246 foreigners residing in Zimbabwe, with South Africans making up 137,594 of these.

South Africa’s government has extended permits for Zimbabweans living and working in the country without the correct documentation until June 2023, the IOL report goes on to add.

Furthermore, along with Mozambique, Zimbabwe accounted for the highest number of African tourists visiting South Africa during the first six months of the year.

“So far in 2022, Zimbabwe accounted for most arrivals to South Africa. The legal arrivals,” Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu stated.

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