Over 1 000 Malawi immigrants are reportedly being held at a South African detention centre for undocumented migrants, as many continue to flee the southern African country due to economic hardships.
According to Nyasa Times, the immigrants were currently being held at the Lindela Repatriation Centre and most of them were undocumented.
“Most of them say they want to find jobs, yet they lack proper documentation. The situation is very worrisome,” said Chrissie Kaponda, the Malawian high commissioner to South Africa, who confirmed that at least 45% of those detained at the centre were from Malawi.
Kaponda said the cost of deporting the immigrants was too high and that was the reason why the process of repatriation was slow.
According to a University of Malawi economist, Ben Kaluwa, the problems in Malawi had left most people with no other alternative but to search for “greener pastures” elsewhere.
“Our government is failing to provide the right level of public services, including such basic necessities as education, medicine and food,” Kaluwa said.
Meanwhile, Malawi24 reported that Zimbabweans at the Beit Bridge border post were accused of trafficking people, including Malawians to South Africa, with an aim of robbing them of their money.
This, the report said, was according to a message making rounds on Whatsapp.