A South African border official said 700 Zimbabweans were crossing into South Africa daily after the disputed 2013 presidential and parliamentary elections.
South Africa’s 2011 Census reported that about 1.7-million of the country’s then-51.7-million population were “non-South African” citizens. The World Bank and U.N. put the migrant population at about 1.86-million people, according to a November, 2013 Africa Check report.
“While Zimbabweans are the largest single group of foreigners in South Africa, they are by no means the only one,” said Prof. Loren Landau, director of the African Centre for Migration and Society at Wits University. “There are significant numbers of Mozambicans and Basotho, to say nothing of other groups.”
Here’s a few famous South Africans you didn’t know were born in Zimbabwe.
Pearl “Motsi” Kupe, TV Host, Lawyer, International Consultant
Born in Harare Zimbabwe, Pearl Kupe was general manager of communications at Transnet, South Africa’s largest transport & freight logistics company. until 2011. An attorney, her career includes working as public prosecutor for the Botswana attorney general. In 2001 she was recruited as a social dialogue specialist by the International Labour Organisation, a U.N. agency. She worked in the area of social dialogue and labor law reform in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Kupe has also been director of Africa Women leadership Programme, AFRICA BOARD and AFRICA LEAD programs that promote the development of African women.
She works as an international consultant and speaker for governments and international organisations.
Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and vice president, African Development Bank
Born in 1964 in Zimbabwe, Prof. Mthuli Ncube was dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, South Africa before becoming chief economist and vice president of the African Development Bank. His leadership is credited with landing Wits Business School the No. 45 ranking globally in 2007 by the U.K. Financial Times. He earned a Ph.D. in mathematical finance from Cambridge University, U.K., and has experience as an investment banker.
Before becoming a South African citizen, Ncube worked in Zimbabwe for decades, according to Afrimind.org. He was chairman of the National Investment Trust and founded an investment company, Barbican Holdings, established in Zimbabwe in 2002.
Soon after Barbican began operations, it was forced to merge with Trust and Royal banks to form the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group. Ncube moved to South Africa in 2004 at the height of the Zimbabwean liquidity crunch.
Paul Harris, South African Cricketer
Born in Zimbabwe, Paul Harris is a South African Cricketer currently playing for Highveld Lions. He has played domestic cricket for Northerns, Titans, Western Province and Warwickshire. Harris was named in the Wisden Cricketers (is a cricket reference book published annually in the United Kingdom. He was named South African Newcomer of the Year in the 2007 Mutual & Federal SA Cricket Awards.
Sifiso Dabengwa, CEO, MTN Group
Born in Zimbabwe, Sifiso Dabengwa is president and CEO of South Africa-based MTN Group. He held various jobs before he became the leader of the company. In 2013, MyBroadband reported that Dabengwa was South Africa’s highest paid CEO in telecoms and technology, earning 23.5 million rand in the 2012-2013 financial year.
Dabengwa earned a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Zimbabwe and an MBA from Wits Business School in South Africa. His only aspiration when he was young was to be an engineer. He worked for Zimbabwe Railways before joining a consulting engineering firm based in Pretoria, where he worked on projects in Botswana and Swaziland.
Sources: Whoswho, MyBroadband.
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