Fin24

Zimbabweans send R5bn home

2012-04-12 08:23

Cape Town - Zimbabweans in South Africa send nearly R5bn home a year through largely informal channels, it was reported on Thursday.

The Cape Times reported about 82% of this money was sent through informal channels such as friends and bus and truck drivers, according to a survey.

Most people who sent money this way felt it was more convenient and less expensive, even though there was a chance of being ripped off.

The survey, conducted by People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (Passop), found that about two-thirds of relatives in Zimbabwe relied on this money to survive.

A total of 350 Zimbabweans were interviewed in De Doorns and Masiphumelele, in the Western Cape.

Passop programme coordinator David von Burgsdorff said it planned to make submissions to the government that would benefit immigrants and the economy.

"South Africa has access to only 10% of the money. They can't tax it and they have absolutely no control over it," he said.

"By improving the accessibility of formal channels and lifting some of the restrictions, the South African government stands to gain a lot."

 

Comments
  • Koos - 2012-04-12 08:44

    "though there was a chance of being ripped off." It will only happen once. Dead people tend not to rip people off. If they use formal channels they will be ripped off on a monthly basis.

      ramonjthomas - 2012-04-13 14:49

      Koos I love your sense of humour. Zimbabweans are clever people. They know how to save money and make money, no matter how difficult the situation.

  • Lauden Kirk - 2012-04-12 08:50

    If south Africans went to any boarder or country in the masses and took money out of there country. I swear we would be shot like dogs. 5bn we sacrificed and we still need a visa. We own most of Africa and we still can't freely do bizz like free market. I'm confused. I guess we backward in a sense

      Rob - 2012-04-12 11:58

      Own most of Africa? I'd like to know where you get your stats from because it sounds like you might have pulled that one out of your tailpipe.

      phathuchicos - 2012-04-12 22:08

      Duh...Zimbabwe is like a province to SA why waste your time on money leaving whereas its gonna come back in a form of SAA tickets, agriculture imports and retail purchases...

  • Felix - 2012-04-12 08:51

    Those poor (excuse the pun) refugees :(. Wait, can we still say that?

      Michael - 2012-04-12 10:12

      Yes Felix, you can use "refugees" term. Much appropriate because majority of them applied for asylum permits though they are education and economic migrants (from a different country - key).

  • justin.pretorius - 2012-04-12 08:59

    It is kind of strange - we have so many exchange controls still in SA. We have to give in all of our unused forex when we return, sometimes we even get searched at ORT for currency but it is ok for 5bn of SA rands to be sent to Zim without any controls? In Kenya and Rwanda I can exchange any amounts of money I want without question but I am still restricted in my own country. I am stunned that the Reserve Bank wants me to fill in forms to "beg" for forex while billions go through our borders a year to Zim to be exchanged for dollars anyway! You cannot tell me that this does not have an affect on the Rand.

      Xboxs - 2012-04-12 22:55

      You are right pretorius ,SA has the worst laws in every sector from immigration laws to exchange control laws.This is undoubtedbly a police state.I am planning on immigrating to Ghana ,the laws are investor friendly and it is a very safe country.I am tired of living in this democratic presson called SA.

  • Jacques Engelbrecht - 2012-04-12 09:01

    That money needs to go back into this economy, other small/ informal businesses.... Old bob screws us after all

      Rob - 2012-04-12 12:00

      Bob's been screwing the continent for decades. It's only the top dogs that score.

      Slyvester - 2012-04-12 17:53

      Jacques, I see you speak with no fact. 99% of goods in Zimbabwean shops are imported from SA. The manufacturing sector there has virtually collapsed. For every R5 billion that goes there, R15billion comes back. All that is required is for a proper socioeconomic integration so all this can be formalised. And what will happen to the increased, revenue for the country thats another news headline...

      Kevin - 2012-06-02 12:27

      Slyvester, at the moment the money comes back to RSA. If Bob gets it right, very soon 51% of that won't get back to us. The next step after that is Zim will nationalise those businesses and then give them to mates in the government to finally stuff up totally. None of the nationalised farms are operating viably up there and millions of dollars in infrastructure and farm equipment has been left to rust. If you are able to research Zimplats and the Selous area mines, you will see that one of the larger nationalised mines hasn't produced an ounce of platinum since it was taken over, despite the fact that Zimplats/Impala Plats has offered to help the Zim government to get it back on track.

      Kevin - 2012-06-02 12:29

      Slyvester, at the moment the money comes back to RSA. If Bob gets it right, very soon 51% of that won't get back to us. The next step after that is Zim will nationalise those businesses and then give them to mates in the government to finally stuff up totally. None of the nationalised farms are operating viably up there and millions of dollars in infrastructure and farm equipment has been left to rust. If you are able to research Zimplats and the Selous area mines, you will see that one of the larger nationalised mines hasn't produced an ounce of platinum since it was taken over, despite the fact that Zimplats/Impala Plats has offered to help the Zim government to get it back on track.In the long-term, I think we'll see our export market there shrinking, not because Zim is doing it for themselves, but because fewer Zimbabweans will have money to buy.

      Kevin - 2012-06-02 12:29

      Slyvester, at the moment the money comes back to RSA. If Bob gets it right, very soon 51% of that won't get back to us. The next step after that is Zim will nationalise those businesses and then give them to mates in the government to finally stuff up totally. None of the nationalised farms are operating viably up there and millions of dollars in infrastructure and farm equipment has been left to rust. If you are able to research Zimplats and the Selous area mines, you will see that one of the larger nationalised mines hasn't produced an ounce of platinum since it was taken over, despite the fact that Zimplats/Impala Plats has offered to help the Zim government to get it back on track.In the long-term, I think we'll see our export market there shrinking, not because Zim is doing it for themselves, but because fewer Zimbabweans will have money to buy.

      Kevin - 2012-06-02 12:30

      Slyvester, at the moment the money comes back to RSA. If Bob gets it right, very soon 51% of that won't get back to us. The next step after that is Zim will nationalise those businesses and then give them to mates in the government to finally stuff up totally. None of the nationalised farms are operating viably up there and millions of dollars in infrastructure and farm equipment has been left to rust. If you are able to research Zimplats and the Selous area mines, you will see that one of the larger nationalised mines hasn't produced an ounce of platinum since it was taken over, despite the fact that Zimplats/Impala Plats has offered to help the Zim government to get it back on track.In the long-term, I think we'll see our export market there shrinking, not because Zim is doing it for themselves, but because fewer Zimbabweans will have money to buy.

      Kevin - 2012-06-02 14:49

      Slyvester, at the moment the money comes back to RSA. If Bob gets it right, very soon 51% of that won't get back to us. The next step after that is Zim will nationalise those businesses and then give them to mates in the government to finally stuff up totally. None of the nationalised farms are operating viably up there and millions of dollars in infrastructure and farm equipment has been left to rust. If you are able to research Zimplats and the Selous area mines, you will see that one of the larger nationalised mines hasn't produced an ounce of platinum since it was taken over, despite the fact that Zimplats/Impala Plats has offered to help the Zim government to get it back on track.In the long-term, I think we'll see our export market there shrinking, not because Zim is doing it for themselves, but because fewer Zimbabweans will have money to buy.

  • Täffåz - 2012-04-12 09:44

    The money stil find its way back to suid afrika,this is jus money circulation!!but they just need to formalise it.

  • Cris - 2012-04-12 09:59

    If informal labourers are sending 5billion what are those Zim managers you find in every branch of every organization in South Africa sending. Just asking? But the figure sounds a bit thump sucked though especially if only 350 underpaid labourers were the source of such information. Again just saying.

  • Louis - 2012-04-12 10:02

    This money which flow out of our country, is a permanent loss to our economy. This high time that we protect our borders properly, to protect our economy and jobs.

      Mike - 2012-04-12 23:15

      This is a drop in the ocean compared to the overall capital flows that occur in a year both in and out of SA, significant portions of this money will find its way back here as pretty much all goods in Zim are imported from SA. The only issue is the lack of formal monitoring.

  • Greg - 2012-04-12 11:23

    The money going out of SA comes back in when Zim based businesses restock with SA goods. It is not a one way flow as some may think. SA benefits from the flow indirectly and this creates a bigger market for SA goods and services needed in Zim. The Zim market demand keeps SA people in jobs and the movement of Rands between the two countries oils this trade. In terms of job creation and competition, some businesses are able to operate profitably with the highly unionised SA labour force whilst other buisnesses need greater flexibility in order to run profitably. This is where foreign labour is beneficial and does help to save companies from closure, etc. It is not exploitation but a win-win situation where both employer and employee agree on remuneration. SA needs the micro, small and medium businesses that create self employment and this also takes the load off the job market. Many who are retrenched and cannot find work become self employed and need every advantage they can get to get their business running viably. Who is going to put food on the table and pay the accounts? This is entrepreneurship that makes use of any and all advantages including foreign labour.

      farmfreund - 2012-04-12 16:18

      The problem is that this money is earned by 3 mil people, and when it comes back it is in the hands 20 people. this money should of gone to SA labor.

      Jack - 2012-04-12 16:59

      Very much agreed... Remember in terms of an export market Zim is number 2. Number 1 is Nigeria. For people who are screaming about South Africa money, they don't realize how this same money oils South African industry. If you want to cut it off, please go ahead and let's see how you will maintain the Zim market. It does not even require retaliations from the Zim, there wont be money from Zim to buy goods in South Africa.. And the jobs losses will begin for everyone across the 2 countries...

      Jack - 2012-04-12 16:59

      Actually this people in the region should be taught basic regional economics for all to appreciate the healthy links that can exist between the 2 countries.

  • farmfreund - 2012-04-12 16:14

    This 5 Bil. is our peoples money, this money could of build plenty of homes for the poor people in SA,

      Mike - 2012-04-12 23:17

      You are delusional!

  • Gerrit - 2012-04-12 16:21

    Keep the money and jobs for SA citizens and send the Zimbabweans home.

  • phathuchicos - 2012-04-12 16:25

    So what? How much are we taking from Chinese bribes? its also not taxed!!!!

  • allan.chikwanha - 2012-04-12 17:04

    for the same period Zim imported goods worth R14.5bn from SA while SA imported goods worth R2.9bn. so whose`s gaining?

  • watkykjy - 2012-04-12 17:51

    South Africans working in Nigeria probably take home three times that amount. Hell, MTN employees alone probably score 90% of it.

  • Col - 2012-04-12 18:23

    If there is no financial record kept of the mnney sent 'informally', then there is no way to say how much has been sent via these means. Interviewing 350 people is not nearly enough to come to any serious conclusions. Imagine I ask 10 people at work if any of them had ever stolen anything in their lives (be it paper from the office, or a sweet from the corner store when they were very young). Now imagine if 7 of 10 say YES and the other 3 say NO. Would my survey be accurate if I concluded that 70% of office workers in South Africa are self-confessed thieves ??

      Cris - 2012-04-12 19:30

      These funny NGOs have a way with figures that leaves one astounded. I mean if these labourers (350) of them and others can raise 5billion a year who needs ABSA capitol when you can head down to some apple pickers from Zimbabwe to raise equity.

  • ArchAngel - 2012-04-12 19:27

    How much are the CHINESE sending home, via both the informal and the formal methods? The zimbo figure pales in comparison.

      Cris - 2012-04-12 19:37

      I wonder how much the \open secret\ Nigerians are sending home via informal methods

      Xboxs - 2012-04-12 23:04

      Chris, not all Nigerians in SA are doing that well. Don't be fooled by what the media presents to you. I am a successful Nigerian but i know many Nigerians in SA who are living from hand to mouth and hardly ever send any money home. The picture that SA media paints of all Nigerians is that we all sell drugs, live in million rand mansions and drive Ferraris. Nothing can be further from the truth. Like someone mentioned above the South Africans working in Nigeria are seriously overpaid. Even though i am successful, i will switch places with a south African working in MTN Nigeria in a heart beat because those guys are paid in US dollars and they live like kings in Nigeria. In the economic sense of things, the truth is that SA benefits more from Nigeria than Nigeria benefits from SA. With a population of 160 Million and the fact that Nigeria is “cash in hand” society (no instalments payments in Nigeria) SA businesses in Nigeria are making a killing in Nigeria in raw cash.

      justin.pretorius - 2012-04-13 14:44

      @Xboxs. I am starting to think that Nigeria will overtake SA before 2020. I just feel SA is trying to pretend to be the ever "beautiful" sister when in fact it is becoming too expensive and constrained by too many laws. Nigeria is going to be the China of Africa and not SA

  • samson.kombora - 2012-04-13 16:15

    Some comments here are full of ignorance indeed. As a Zimbabwean l find it amazing that South African are bothered that Zimbabwean send money back home as if its criminal. No doubt our South African neighbours will be surprised that South African with businesses in Zimbabwe rack in unaccounted for billions from their mining activities in Zimbabwe which are externalised into South Africa as dividends or through price transfer. Which is incomparable to the poverty stricken Zimbabweans trying to make a living in a very unfriendly environment of South Africa

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