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Government ends special visas for Zimbabweans – Business Day

Holders of the special permits must apply for visas based on their particular status or situation from January 1 25 November 2021 – 12:31 Bekezela Phakathi The government will no longer issue extensions to the Zimbabwean special dispensation visas, minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele said on Thursday.The special visas, which were introduced in 2009 to allow Zimbabweans working in SA to gain legal status, are due to expire on December 31. Almost 200,000 people were granted the visas for an initial five-year period, which was extended twice. ..

The government will no longer issue extensions to the Zimbabwean special dispensation visas, minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele said on Thursday.

The special visas, which were introduced in 2009 to allow Zimbabweans working in SA to gain legal status, are due to expire on December 31. Almost 200,000 people were granted the visas for an initial five-year period, which was extended twice. ..

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Southern Africa

Omicron variant detected in 2 people in Canada – New York Daily News

People with masks walk at a shopping mall in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday Nov. 26, 2021. Advisers to the World Health Organization are holding a special session Friday to flesh out information about a worrying new variant of the coronavirus that has emerged in South Africa, though its impact on COVID-19 vaccines may not be known for weeks. (Denis Farrell/AP)

People with masks walk at a shopping mall in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday Nov. 26, 2021. Advisers to the World Health Organization are holding a special session Friday to flesh out information about a worrying new variant of the coronavirus that has emerged in South Africa, though its impact on COVID-19 vaccines may not be known for weeks. (Denis Farrell/AP)

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Southern Africa

Teachers, govt face off today – NewsDay

BY MOSES MATENGA

TEACHERS and Primary and Secondary Education minister Evelyn Ndlovu will today meet in Harare under the cloud of threats to boycott public school examinations that are scheduled to begin today.

Teachers have registered their displeasure over disparities in salaries with other government workers, among several other issues about their conditions of service.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou confirmed the meeting yesterday, saying it would include government and other stakeholders in the educations sector.

Zhou said it would discuss several issues, including that of teachers threatening to boycott invigilation of the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) “O” and “A” Level examinations if they were not paid for the services.

“It’s a final meeting that would apprise the minister of an array of challenges affecting teachers such as pathetic salaries and the need to restore the purchasing power parity of teachers’ salaries to the pre-October 2018 position of an average of US$540,” Zhou told NewsDay yesterday.

“While this is a sole responsibility of the Public Service Commission (PSC), the line ministry needs apprisal so that it can inform the PSC, Cabinet and Treasury to address the issue as a matter of urgency.

“The issue of contract/payment for invigilation will be discussed. The current united front position of teachers is that no contractual agreement/payment, no Invigilation unless Zimsec is brought to pay teachers for the invigilation of public examination under its auspices, and teachers will not invigilate such examinations,” Zhou said.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive Sifiso Ndlovu said the issue of boycotting of Zimsec examinations would come up for discussion, among several other issues affecting teachers. But he said the decision to boycott would be up to individual teachers to make.

“To us, the contracts have to do with individual teachers, but at the moment, what we are engaged with is the discussion on the issue of examination management and related allowances. We are not going to look at invigilation only,” Ndlovu said.

“We are looking at all various issues. The new curriculum is dictating that there be continuous assessment, which then makes examinations only a component of 30%, and with that, it means every teacher, who has been involved, is an examiner and in that instance, we are introducing a new paradigm, where we are asking the authorities now to introduce a policy that recognises the new paradigm that will remunerate all those involved in all those activities.

“That level of engagement will see us tomorrow (today) engaging the ministry together with other stakeholders to concretise them on that. Our position has always been that we want teachers paid for invigilation, but we have not yet said we are going to boycott invigilation.”

He said during today’s meeting, teachers would make appropriate claims against government.

“The boycott position has not been communicated, and it will come to that if we have challenges along the way. At the moment, let us cross that bridge when we see it,” Ndlovu said.

Smaller unions like the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe have already made their position clear that their members will boycott invigilating the examinations as long as there was no written agreement to pay them for the services.

Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro last week made it clear that if teachers boycotted invigilation of examinations, government “will use anyone” to invigilate them.

Ndoro also said there were several non-unionised teachers that could invigilate for free.

Last year, government used school ancillary staff and villagers to invigilate the examinations after teachers boycotted.

 Follow Moses on Twitter  @mmatenga

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Southern Africa

Cosatu making attempts to negotiate for Zim migrants – NewsDay

BY SILAS NKALA

THE Congress of South African Unions (Cosatu) has revealed plans to engage the government on behalf of Zimbabweans that are likely to be deported due to expiry of the Special Dispensation Permits (ZSP) on December 31.

This follows an announcement last week by South African minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, who said following deliberations, the SA government had decided that it would not renew ZSP permits, and would give its holders one year to apply for other visas.

Around 300 000 Zimbabweans are in South Africa as holders of ZSP.

“At the expiry of this 12-month period, those who are not successful will have to depart the republic or be deported,” Gungubele said last week.

But yesterday Cosatu’s International relations secretary Sonia Mabunda-Kaziboni said the organisation would find ways to assist the affected Zimbabweans through negotiations with the SA government.

“Right now we are trying to help comrades with the ZSP issue. It’s not looking good, especially because the government has already made a declaration… but we’ll try to see if there’s a way to get an extension at least,” Mabunda-Kaziboni said.

She said she would advise after the engagement with the leadership today (Monday), but indicated that it was a very tricky situation for the union.

Indications are that the government of SA’s decision was prompted by the sporadic threats and demonstrations by South Africans who opposed the renewal of Zimbabwean permits.

The SA government reportedly fears the possibility of uncontrollable xenophobic attacks on Zimbabweans once it announces the extension of the ZSP permits.

This was after South Africans launched a campaign dubbed #NotoZimbabweanpermits extension.

Zimbabwe Community in South Africa (ZCSA) leader, Ngqabutho Mabhena last week said his organisation would engage the SA government on its decision to stop extending the permits.

  • Follow Silas on Twitter @silasnkala

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