In exclusive interviews in South Africa over the weekend, some of the Zimbabweans who work at the Mountain Inn Hotel in Lousi Trichardt said there was rampant “unemployment which would make it difficult for them to earn a living”.
“I cannot come home because there are no jobs,” said a waitress at the three star but plush hotel in South Africa.
“Even then I do not have sufficient qualifications to get a good job and earn cash which I am earning here in South Africa. I want to come home because I am very home sick.”
Another worker, a barman in the same hotel said: “It is expensive in Zimbabwe when you convert Rands into United States dollars today.
“Here we stay in the hotel, we get free food and we do not have to travel at all and so our cash is put into the bank.
“I feel safe here because at least I can send some cash back to my family whom I have not seen for a long time.”
Some workers said even if they returned they could not get jobs because there is a lot of “unemployment in Zimbabwe right now”.
Officially the country has published an unemployment rate of about 80 percent, but analysts point out that this cannot be true because some individuals work in the “informal sector” – buying and selling – such that they are not counted by the statisticians who compile the “disputed” figures.
Thousands of Zimbabwean lost jobs during the period of hyperinflation when the rate stood at 231 million percent, the highest in the world, a record.
The worthless Zimbabwe dollar was used as legal tender forcing citizens to dash to South Africa for jobs.It is believed that there are more than four million Zimbabwean in South Africa doing menial jobs.
The workers are in restaurants, on farms, supermarkets, whole some are employed as house girls and gardeners.
“I really want to return to Zimbabwe but I am worried that I will not get a job,” the barman told Radio VOP.
“President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, must come up with a quick solution soon or we will stay here despite being labeled refugees.” There are about 20 Zimbabweans working in the three-star Mountain Inn Hotel in Louis Trichardt, South Africa.