South Africa and Zimbabwe should recognise border citizens

Published: 13/Apr/2020
Source: Bulawayo24

An article in the Journal of Borderlands Studies written by Inocent Moyo argues that the South African and Zimbabwean governments may learn from progressive examples and recognise border citizens. “If this does not succeed, it will mean that citizenship and sovereignty which fails to take care of all citizens, including border citizens, is a negative endeavour, because it cannot accommodate the peculiarities of peoples who make states and nations,” writes Moyo.

When South Africa attained majority rule in 1994, the Venda-speaking people on the Zimbabwean side of the Beitbridge border thought that there would be a relaxation of the stringent controls at the border.

As this was not the case and since these Venda-speaking people also had South African roots, they managed to legally apply for and obtain South African identity cards and passports.

Consequently, whenever they want to travel toSouth Africa, they simply produce South African identity particulars and when they cross the border to the South African side, they regard themselves as authentic SouthAfrican citizens.

When they cross the border and travel back to Zimbabwe, they again become complete and authentic Zimbabwean citizens. This seems to illustrate a strategic claim to dual citizenship by the Venda-speaking people on both the South African and theZimbabwean sides of the border. By having both South African and Zimbabwean documents, these people are making a statement that they are both Zimbabwean and SouthAfrican citizens who reside on the border.

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Regions: South Africa, Zimbabwe
Year: 2020