The country is losing skilled agricultural workers to South Africa and other neighbouring countries, a Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (ZimStat) report on Characteristics of Labour Migrants has revealed.
By own correspondent
The revelation comes in the wake of xenophobic attacks by South African nationals who accuse foreign nationals of taking local jobs by offering cheap labour.
The ZimStat report has established that most emigrants were flocking to the neighbouring countries in search of job opportunities and better working conditions.
“Before emigrants departed, most of them were skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers (32,5%), and services and sales (9,7%). Emigrants who were looking for work before departure were 17%, while those who were full-time students constituted 9%,” the report reads.
“Lack of work opportunities in Zimbabwe (49,3%) and the need to increase income for the household (18,3%) were cited as the major reasons for emigrating.”
According to the survey, 85,7% of the Zimbabweans that fled the country since 2009 were staying in South Africa, while Botswana and Mozambique accounted for only 5,8% and 2,1% respectively.
Local industries, including the agricultural sector, have been on a freefall in the past decade, forcing nationals
to flee the country in search of greener pastures.
The exodus has, however, worsened the country’s economic situation amid reports that only an insignificant proportion is contributing to the country’s gross domestic product.
“Forty-six percent of emigrants, which is the largest category, did not send remittances to Zimbabwe. About 24% remitted both money and goods. About 43% of emigrants remitted amounts less than $100, while about 24% remitted at least $500,” the ZimStat report established.