Zimbabwe’s Crisis Is Set to Worsen

Nearly 200,000 expats will soon lose their right to work in neighboring South Africa.

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Zimbabwe's Economic Woes
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A South African court this week ruled that the government could cancel a visa exemption policy for Zimbabweans that has been in place since 2009. The decision means that 178,000 Zimbabwean expats will lose their legal right to work in South Africa later this year. It is a major blow to Zimbabwe, which is mired in multiple crises, including soaring inflation, food insecurity, a collapsing domestic currency and chronic brain drain. Remittances make up nearly 10 percent of Zimbabwe’s gross domestic product, with most of those coming from South Africa. Moreover, Zimbabwe already has a difficult time accruing foreign currency, so the loss of remittances will worsen the domestic currency situation. And with elections due later this year, the political impact will be felt almost immediately.

The South African government has its own problems, including an acute power shortage, increased violence and surging unemployment. The latter has caused an increase in tensions and led to multiple acts of violence between unemployed South Africans and Zimbabwean immigrants.

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Geopolitical Futures (GPF) was founded in 2015 by George Friedman, international strategist and author of The Storm Before the Calm and The Next 100 Years. GPF is non-ideological, analyzes the world and forecasts the future using geopolitics: political, economic, military and geographic dimensions at the foundation of a nation.