Child trafficking between South Africa and Zimbabwe


A new directive which came into effect in 2012 in regards to traveling with infants between Zimbabwe and South Africa caught a lot of people off guard. Because of the increase in child trafficking between the two countries an agreement was reached. Any minor child (17 years and under) traveling with a single parent or a guardian is to have a copy of the child’s birth certificate, an Affidavit signed by the other parent or both parents in the event that they were traveling with a relative. The parents IDs also need to be presented.

On my way to Zimbabwe over the festive season of 2012, a couple with their new born child were refused entry and were left at the border because they did not have the required documents. The immigration official said that if they had been Zimbabweans it would have been okay. But since they were South Africans they needed to have the right document and could not be allowed through.

On my way back from Zimbabwe there were a few parents and guardians with children but did not have a single document but they made it through. Which led me to question how effective this operation is if people can pay their way through.

A mother from Zambia with her daughter did not have the necessary documents. She had to call her husband in Zambia to confirm then they were let through. There are also incidences where the documents could be faxed through.

Before the bus leaves the station, passengers are warned by the host that anyone who is traveling with any children must have the necessary documents. If not then they will not make it through. Now this announcement is not really sincere, but what the host is saying is that, if you don’t have your documents then talk to me and we can make a plan.

Nothing was asked on the way out of South Africa and nothing asked on the way out of Zimbabwe either.

I traveled with my mother and my brothers daughter just before Xmas and we had all the documents but they didn’t bother to check the documents or read them.


These are the requirements for a parent of guardian traveling with a minor (17 years and under). I don’t know what the situation is for a 17 year old traveling by themselves?

Both Parents Traveling with Child

– Birth Certificate of child

One Parent

– Birth Certificate of child
– Affidavit from other parent
– ID of other parent


– Birth Certificate of child
– Affidavit from both parents
– IDs of both parents

Updated 15 September 2018
Over the past few years since I posted this article children keep coming through the porous Beitbridge border post aided by Bus drivers in collaboration with Immigration officials, and they don’t hide it at all the bus drivers call out in the bus for those who don’t have the necessary documents to se them then the drivers liaise with the immigration official. They then pay the stipulated amount around R1000 per child and they get through.