Xenophobia: Zimbabweans 'fear' travelling to SA

Cape Town – Zimbabwe's cross-border transport operators are reportedly bemoaning a decline in business following the spate of deadly xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

According to Southern Eye, the transport operators, popularly known as omalayitsha, said their business had been greatly affected by the violence, as most Zimbabweans were now hesitant to travel to South Africa.

One of the cross–border operators, Anele Dube, said few people were travelling to South Africa from Bulawayo, and his business would suffer if peace was not restored immediately.

"People are no longer willing to travel to that country and if this continues I will be forced to stop the cross-border trips and concentrate on local routes," Dube was quoted as saying.

This comes as Zimbabwe's state owned newspaper the Chronicle reported on Friday that over 1 000 Zimbabweans were set to return home in the wake of the xenophobic attacks.

"Identification and the processing of repatriation documents [for Zimbabwean nationals] has already begun," Isaac Moyo, Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa, was quoted as saying.

Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said earlier this week that at least one Zimbabwean had died and a total of 800 had been displaced by the xenophobic attacks.