ZIMBABWEANS risk being banned from travelling to South Africa for up to FIVE YEARS as the neighbouring country tightens screws on travellers who overstay.
South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has posted notices at entry points spelling out the penalties for overstaying.
Previously, overstayers would be fined anything between R1,000 and R3,000 or be summarily deported — depending on the length of illegal stay.
But now, President Jacob Zuma’s government is moving to impose stiffer penalties on anyone who overstays their welcome, with travel bans replacing fines.
Ronnie Mamoepa, the spokesperson for South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs told Chronicle last night: “I can’t comment on an issue about which there has been no official statement. Wait for the official statement.”
But several Zimbabwean travellers who passed through Beitbridge this week said they had been verbally told of the new penalties by South African immigration officials. Most had also seen the notices.
Faith Dube, who arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday from South Africa, said the notice has three categories of bans.
She told Chronicle: “The notice stated that instead of the usual fine, if you overstay for up to 30 days in the first 24 months you will be banned from travelling into South Africa for a year.