Tanaka Life

When you move to a foreign country, you definitely do not server ties with your mother country. As people migrate there are a lot of things that they will definitely need from their home country. Here are the 8 things Zimbabweans in South Africa need (and you probably need 5 of them)

Consular Services

Zimbabweans need to replace their expired, lost or damaged passports while in South Africa. babies are born and definitely require birth certificates and passports. The Zimbabwe Consulate in Bedfordview  and Cape Town provide all the services related to birth registration, passport applications, temporary travel documents and repatriation services.

Food and groceries

People always crave for the food they grew up consuming. The ever popular Mazowe is one of the most sort after beverages. Shops like African Basket stock  a variety of Zimbabwean brand foods that include Cascade, Cerevita, Mazowe, Pfuko, Sun jam and Tanganda.

Funeral service providers

Zimbabwean companies like Doves, Nyaradzo and Moonlight have established branches in South Africa to provide funeral cover and repatriation services for Zimbaweans living in South Africa. Some companies like Tanaka Life were born in South Africa to provide the same service.

Goods Transporters

Zimbabweans in South Africa provide for their families back home. Every month they send groceries home using informal transporters also called malayitsha. These carry all kinds of goods from furniture to empty buckets, appliance to building material. They also transport people.

Money Remittance

Besides sending goods, Zimbaweans need to send money to their relatives. In 2018 $1.9 Billion was sent home by the Zimbabwe diaspora. It is estimated a third of this amount originates from South Africa. Besides the banks offering money transfer services, the money can be sent via fintechs like Mama Money, HelloPaisa, Ecocash Remit

Besides these informal channels, a lot is sent using buses, relatives, malayitshas and other unregistered individual operators.


Most people use buses to travel between South Africa and Zimbabwe. This route is serviced by both Zimbabwe and South African operators. In Johannesburg there are at least 3 bus termini servicing Zimbabweans. Some buses travel from as far as cape Town to Harare.


Recently people have started selling Zimbabwe networks airtime credits in South Africa. You purchase the credit here in South Africa , receive the pins via social media or SMS and send to your relatives in Zimbabwe. Econet airtime is also available in Shoprite.

Courier Services

Besides sending goods by malayitshas and buses Zimbabweans living in South Africa also need courier services to deliver important documents. Whilist applications for Zimbabwe passports are currently being done at The Zimbabwe Consulate, production is in done in ZImbabwe. The completed application forms are sent via secure couriers to relatives who in turn submit at the Ministry of Home Affairs’ passport office.


6 Responses

  1. Hi , my name is Dawn and I was born in Zimbabwe 1954 ,I have been trying to find a way to get a birth certificate but every thing I try it comes to a dead end, so I am really hoping you will be able to help me.
    The reason I need one apart from the fact everybody should have one is I am applying for citizenship in Australia.
    Kind regards
    Dawn Slater.

  2. If you are still needing help let me know i ll speak to the person who can require your details and help you thanks

  3. Hi There
    Please advise i have a sister that helps us out at home, She is from Zimbabwe and ever since she came to south africa she was using Islam ID which she did it in Pretoria.
    So unfortunately it got expired and she did not manage to renew it when she was in Jhb because it got lost.
    She now relocated to capetown and met her to be my family helper.
    Please advise what steps and where in Capetown can she apply for her ID. So that when she goes to either pretoria .
    Its really needed especially that sometimes she will need to Fly to Zimbabwe or to continue with her studies
    thank you


    1. Hi, How do I send application documents for police clearance to your offices once I have captured my finger prints with SAPS and and also completed my form 137, I want to do it for my friend

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