July 2006

Volume 18, No. 6(A)

Unprotected Migrants
Zimbabweans in South Africa’s Limpopo Province

Glossary .......................................................................................................................................... 1
Map of Limpopo Province .......................................................................................................... 2
Summary......................................................................................................................................... 3
Recommendations......................................................................................................................... 6
To the Government of South Africa ..................................................................................... 6
Background .................................................................................................................................... 8
Migration to South Africa........................................................................................................ 8
Foreign migrants on farms in South Africa ........................................................................ 10
Zimbabwean farm workers in Limpopo province............................................................. 11
The International Organization for Migration and Zimbabwean
migrants .................................................................................................................................... 15
The Legal Framework: Migrants’ Status and Employment Conditions ............................. 17
The Immigration Act: Violations and Gaps Resulting in Human Rights Abuses............. 22
Unlawful procedures and acts in the arrest, detention, and deportation
of undocumented foreigners ................................................................................................. 23
Officers’ failure to verify the status and identity of suspected “illegal foreigners” .. 23
Assault, bribery, and theft by police during arrest of suspected illegal migrants...... 25
Detention exceeding 30 days without proper procedures............................................ 27
Detention not in compliance with prescribed standards.............................................. 28
Deportation without an opportunity to collect remuneration, savings,
and personal belongings......................................................................................................... 32
Migrants’ vulnerability to arrest and deportation arising from
government deficiencies in documenting corporate workers .......................................... 35
Migrants’ vulnerability to financial abuses by corporate permit holders........................ 37
Employment Laws: Violations and Gaps Resulting in Human Rights Violations............ 38
Employers’ failure to pay minimum wages, their unlawful use of piece
rate, and their disregard of overtime rules .......................................................................... 38
Employers’ failure to comply with provisions governing deductions
from wages............................................................................................................................... 41

Select target paragraph3