Zimbabweans have clogged the South African embassy in Harare seeking study and work permits.
SA ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela said there has been an upsurge this year.
“The queues are longer this year, others are actually being turned away and are asked to submit their applications at a later date since the embassy is also dealing with backlog of both study visas as well as work permits,” said Mavimbela is quoted saying by the Zimbabwe Independent.
The embassy is processing about 6 000 applications a month which translates to about 72 000 applications a year as hordes of Zimbabweans seek economic refuge.
Traditionally, applications reach a peak between November and March.
South Africa is Zimbabwe’s major trading partner with imports from that country accounting for nearly 70%.
On Wednesday government said it had received over 14 000 applications from graduates of tertiary institutions seeking possible employment in several countries showing the level of desperation amongst unemployed Zimbabweans.
The export of labour will start as soon as the human export policy done by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development has been approved by cabinet.