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South Africa seizes children of Zimbabwe beggars

High_Gravity

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South Africa seizes children of Zimbabwe beggars

Reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa— The young mother crossed the surging Limpopo River, the water up to her neck, like cruel hands trying to drag her under. Other women traveling with her were terrified, screaming, "We're going to die!"

Ruvarashe Chibura concentrated all her strength on the little bundle she held high in the air: her 15-month-old baby, Cynthia.

"I never cried. I had my baby over my head," she says now of that desperate crossing from her native Zimbabwe to South Africa. "I was afraid that Cynthia would be swept away."

But it wasn't until two years later that her little girl was swept away, this time by police and social workers in a country she had hoped would prove a refuge from the ordeals of her homeland.

Chibura and dozens of other unemployed illegal immigrants from crisis-ridden Zimbabwe have seen their children placed in state institutions. Their crime: begging at traffic lights with their babies at their sides.

For a Zimbabwean immigrant with no visa or papers, living illegally in a shabby city-owned building, South Africa's child welfare bureaucracy has proved as implacable as the river that nearly took her life three years ago. Chibura's daughter was taken into state care late last year, and now she says, despairingly, "she doesn't even remember that I'm her mother."

The government says its main concern is the best interests of the children. And even the mothers acknowledge that sitting by the road in traffic fumes in Johannesburg's desolate winter chill is a dismal environment for a baby.

"It's not good," says Memory Konjiwa, another young Zimbabwean mother whose child was taken into care.

But for the women, it's a difficult and lengthy process to get their babies back, because social workers and judges require proof that they are living in suitable, permanent housing, the very thing that most jobless Zimbabwean immigrants lack. They are told they will get their children back once they find a job, a nearly impossible task in a country where unemployment is estimated at 40%.

Simon Zwane, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Development, confirms that women must have jobs and housing before they can recover their babies, to prove they are capable of caring for them.

"We have taken babies into places of safety until parents can prove they can look after their babies, they have fixed places of abode and they have partners or they have found employment and they will not be on the streets with babies," he says.

Konjiwa, 26, spends her days remembering. Her 2-year-old son, Joe, is growing up fast without her in an institution far from the squalid building where she lives. She too carried her child across the Limpopo River.

"I can't survive without my baby," she croaks miserably. "I miss him more than anything."

Zwane says some women use their babies to beg. But Konjiwa and Chibura say they cannot feed their children without begging, let along afford child care while they seek money.

As many as 2 million Zimbabweans have flooded into South Africa in recent years looking for work after fleeing their country's economic collapse and political violence. They find they are not especially welcome, particularly in townships where xenophobic violence in 2008 saw machete-wielding mobs storm through, beating up Zimbabweans and other migrants, burning some to death.

South Africa seizes children of Zimbabwe beggars - latimes.com
 

waltky

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Harare not a good place to live...
:eusa_eh:
Study says Zimbabwe capital worst city to live in
Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 | A top research group on Thursday rated Zimbabwe's capital as the worst of 140 world cities in which to live.
The British-based Economist Intelligence Unit said its researchers excluded cities in Libya, Iraq and other war zones. Harare, where power and water outages occur daily, scored a 38 percent "livability rating," the group said. The group said the threat of civil unrest and the availability of public health care and public transport in Harare were intolerable. Energy and water supplies were undesirable, it said, calling phones and Internet services uncomfortable. Zimbabwe formed a shaky coalition government in 2009 after years of political violence and economic meltdown. Melbourne and Vienna were rated the two easiest cities to live in. The research group is a respected economic and risk consultancy linked to the Economist magazine.

The annual global cities survey advises companies on the level of hardship employees face and recommends pay adjustments for those who move to cities where living conditions are particularly difficult, with "excessive physical hardship or a notably unhealthy environment." A livability rating _ compiled onsite in the cities by experts and statisticians _ given as 80 to 100 percent means there are few challenges to daily living standards such as housing, health, education and transportation. Fifty percent or less means most aspects of living are "severely restricted," the group said.

Harare's rating highlighted continuing "bleak prospects" for the capital's population of nearly two million, the survey said. It said quality housing was available for only the wealthy, and that quality private education was available in the city, but it is costly and takes good teachers away from Harare's impoverished government schools. Cities across sub-Saharan Africa had an average livability rating of 50 percent, compared to 92 percent in Western Europe and 91 percent in North America.

Study says Zimbabwe capital worst city to live in - Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 | 8:43 a.m. - Las Vegas Sun
 

koshergrl

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High_Gravity

High_Gravity

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Harare not a good place to live...
:eusa_eh:
Study says Zimbabwe capital worst city to live in
Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 | A top research group on Thursday rated Zimbabwe's capital as the worst of 140 world cities in which to live.
The British-based Economist Intelligence Unit said its researchers excluded cities in Libya, Iraq and other war zones. Harare, where power and water outages occur daily, scored a 38 percent "livability rating," the group said. The group said the threat of civil unrest and the availability of public health care and public transport in Harare were intolerable. Energy and water supplies were undesirable, it said, calling phones and Internet services uncomfortable. Zimbabwe formed a shaky coalition government in 2009 after years of political violence and economic meltdown. Melbourne and Vienna were rated the two easiest cities to live in. The research group is a respected economic and risk consultancy linked to the Economist magazine.

The annual global cities survey advises companies on the level of hardship employees face and recommends pay adjustments for those who move to cities where living conditions are particularly difficult, with "excessive physical hardship or a notably unhealthy environment." A livability rating _ compiled onsite in the cities by experts and statisticians _ given as 80 to 100 percent means there are few challenges to daily living standards such as housing, health, education and transportation. Fifty percent or less means most aspects of living are "severely restricted," the group said.

Harare's rating highlighted continuing "bleak prospects" for the capital's population of nearly two million, the survey said. It said quality housing was available for only the wealthy, and that quality private education was available in the city, but it is costly and takes good teachers away from Harare's impoverished government schools. Cities across sub-Saharan Africa had an average livability rating of 50 percent, compared to 92 percent in Western Europe and 91 percent in North America.

Study says Zimbabwe capital worst city to live in - Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 | 8:43 a.m. - Las Vegas Sun

Yes Zimbabwe is indeed a living hell.
 

LAfrique

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South Africa seizes children of Zimbabwe beggars

Reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa— The young mother crossed the surging Limpopo River, the water up to her neck, like cruel hands trying to drag her under. Other women traveling with her were terrified, screaming, "We're going to die!"

Ruvarashe Chibura concentrated all her strength on the little bundle she held high in the air: her 15-month-old baby, Cynthia.

"I never cried. I had my baby over my head," she says now of that desperate crossing from her native Zimbabwe to South Africa. "I was afraid that Cynthia would be swept away."

But it wasn't until two years later that her little girl was swept away, this time by police and social workers in a country she had hoped would prove a refuge from the ordeals of her homeland.

Chibura and dozens of other unemployed illegal immigrants from crisis-ridden Zimbabwe have seen their children placed in state institutions. Their crime: begging at traffic lights with their babies at their sides.

For a Zimbabwean immigrant with no visa or papers, living illegally in a shabby city-owned building, South Africa's child welfare bureaucracy has proved as implacable as the river that nearly took her life three years ago. Chibura's daughter was taken into state care late last year, and now she says, despairingly, "she doesn't even remember that I'm her mother."

The government says its main concern is the best interests of the children. And even the mothers acknowledge that sitting by the road in traffic fumes in Johannesburg's desolate winter chill is a dismal environment for a baby.

"It's not good," says Memory Konjiwa, another young Zimbabwean mother whose child was taken into care.

But for the women, it's a difficult and lengthy process to get their babies back, because social workers and judges require proof that they are living in suitable, permanent housing, the very thing that most jobless Zimbabwean immigrants lack. They are told they will get their children back once they find a job, a nearly impossible task in a country where unemployment is estimated at 40%.

Simon Zwane, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Development, confirms that women must have jobs and housing before they can recover their babies, to prove they are capable of caring for them.

"We have taken babies into places of safety until parents can prove they can look after their babies, they have fixed places of abode and they have partners or they have found employment and they will not be on the streets with babies," he says.

...

"I can't survive without my baby," she croaks miserably. "I miss him more than anything."

Zwane says some women use their babies to beg. But Konjiwa and Chibura say they cannot feed their children without begging, let along afford child care while they seek money.
QUOTE]


I think South African authorities did the right thing, though I am not for government taking care of people. These women sound more like some of our US women who have children just to get on welfare. I am always amazed why any woman would want to have children or have a child with a man who cannot support her and child.
 

Tank

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In America alot of black children get taken away from their mothers too.
 

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