Letter: Zimbabweans are not freeloaders

Zimbabweans queueing up at South Africa's Department of Home Affairs

Zimbabweans don’t want to be here. South Africans don’t get that. We have voted and voted against the ruling party (and Mugabe) and each time we had the opportunity to be rid of those murderers guess who came to their rescue? Mbeki, ANC, Zuma, SADC.

While I am not wholesale blaming SA for Zim’s problems the country is complicit in keeping us in the shackles of the ANC’s “liberation friends”.
We are treated like cow dung here and live transitory lives where we cannot establish any meaningful sense of a long term view which makes being in SA the very last option.

I, myself, am a Zimbabwean… been here since 2004 working my black bottom off as a software engineer contributing to the tax that pays 11 million South African free loaders monthly in grants… or free cash.

This idea that Zimbabweans are freeloaders is perpetuated by those who wish for xenophobia to reign. The bulk of Zimbabweans are here are the very same ones you see in restaurants working double shifts and making South Africa look good to tourists with their friendly, easy-going, nature. The jobs they “steal” are there for the taking but South africans don’t want them because they are beneath them. This is not fiction.

Right now, looking at how much I pay in taxes and doing a quick calculation, I am looking after at least 15 South African grant recipients each month…. but if I want a house,

a). I can’t get an RDP house,
b). if i qualify for a bond I must pay 50% upfront… what’s 50% of R1.5million again?
c). if I buy a car… for which I must pay a hefty deposit I must get comprehensive cover for it for which… while a South African may pay R400/month… I invariably get to pay R1000-R2000!
d). Because I don’t have an ID I pay more, and in full for getting my kids educated.
e). I pay for all my medical care… nothing’s free.

I’m not unique in the above… most of us foreigners live this life. SA is a hostile, violent, place that, had we a choice, we’d only read about back home… but here we are.

If white South Africans accuse us of being parasites, I totally understand; you probably think since the local blacks are bunch of lazy entitled whiners the rest of us are the same. If you are black, you are grossly misguided and need to travel to at least 2 SADC countries to see how your black brothers’ work ethic lends them well towards being constructive members of society.

—James Watadza