The forum was established in 2015 and is being facilitated by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) under the Africa Regional Migration Programme (ARMP).
Since then, authorities from the two countries including Government agencies, immigration, social services, port health, the police, United Nations Agencies and non-governmental organisations have been meeting on a quarterly basis.
Speaking after the forum’s meeting held in Beitbridge (Zimbabwe) on Friday, the Consul-General to Johannesburg Melody Chaurura said they agreed to revive quarterly meetings whether virtually or physically to keep the information-sharing platform active.
She said they had discussed issues around the smooth and safe movement of people into either country under the current COVID-19 environment. Said Chaurura:
Today’s meeting was a revival of the all stakeholders forum that used to happen quarterly before the COVID-19 pandemic struck us.
As usual, the meeting was attended by stakeholders from South Africa and Zimbabwe including government agencies, immigration, social services, the police, and United Nations Agencies among others.
The whole idea is to enhance and improve efficiency and cooperation in activities so that systems from both countries speak to each other.
Chaurura said the main challenges noted by the stakeholders centred mainly on the detection of fake COVID-19 clearance certificates produced in both Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The two countries also agreed that deportations or the movement of returning residents to either country should be properly coordinated to avoid unnecessary inconveniences to the stakeholders or the citizens.