An investigation of the vulnerabilities of undocumented Zimbabwean migrants in Cape Town during the Covid-19 pandemic
Thom, Ngonidzashe Frackson
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The COVID-19 epidemic has been a devastating global health catastrophe, and the ensuing lockdowns and limitations have exacerbated numerous inequities along racial, ethnic, class, and gender lines. Recent studies have shown that undocumented migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers have been further affected, due to policy responses that mostly exclude them from targeted COVID-19 mitigation efforts aimed toward citizen support. As the South African government has provided some measures to ameliorate the negative economic and social impacts of the pandemic and lockdown on its population, undocumented Zimbabwean migrants on temporary contracts in sectors such as construction, tourism and hospitality have been continuously placed on leave, have reduced hours or have altogether lost their jobs. However, most have not been eligible for government social benefits that have been put in place to mitigate against the negative economic impacts of the pandemic.