Xenophobia: Minister warns Malawians on work permits

Written by  Eunice Ndhlovu

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr George Chaponda has called on all Malawians planning to go back to South Africa after the xenophobic attacks to make sure that they have valid work permits or documents to justify their stay there.

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Dr. Chaponda made the remarks in parliament when he presented a statement on xenophobia attacks in the Republic of South Africa.


However the minister said government is pleading with the nation to refrain from this tendency of going to work in South Africa saying Malawi is committed to improve the economic situation across the country and engage to the youth through various meaningful activities.


“Government has just launched the establishment of community colleges for skills development across the country.


This is one way of improving economic situation of young Malawians in their communities’ Chaponda told the house.

“Upon receiving this report the mission in South Africa deployed a three member delegation on a fact finding mission to Durbun on 2nd April,’ said the minister.


Since then government has put in place several measures to deal with the situation like establishment of an inter-ministerial committee to oversee all activities to repatriate all those wanting to come back from South Africa because of the attacks.


The minister told the house that a total of 3475 men women and children were repatriated from South Africa.


Dr. Chaponda further said a total of 6 Malawians lost their lives in the xenophobia attacks. At the moment the minister told the august house that situation is calm in South Africa and that the government there has assured other nationals that it is committed to to safeguard lives of foreigners in that country.

“According to the latest reports foreigners are now being reintegrated back into the society”, Chaponda informed the honorable house.


Members in the house asked government to make a lasting solution to stop young Malawians from going to seek jobs in South Africa.


Willard Gwengwe of Malawi Congress party said there is need for Malawi to empower the youth economically after they finish school through different businesses to
avoid the situation again.

This is not the first time the xenophobia attacks took place in South Africa, the similar attacks  happened in 2008.

According to the statement xenophobia attacks in South Africa started on 31 March 2005 when South African nationals hacked and robbed people from other countries claiming they are causing unemployment in their country and brought foreign traditions and culture amongst the Zulu people.

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