Authorities in Mzimba have expressed concern over increased number of people migrating to South Africa, a development which they say impacts negatively on social economic development of the district.

According to data sourced from M’mbelwa District Council, over 25 people in a day seek travel documents from the council for them to trek to South Africa.

District Commissioner (DC) for the M’mbelwa District Council Thomas Chirwa said most of the migrants are young people between the age bracket of 15 to 25 years with the potential to contribute to the development of the district and the country as a whole.

Chirwa said high migration rate of people to South Africa is retrogressive to development as young people constitute a good percentage of the country’s population.

“Although the current economic profile of Mzimba is better than other districts in the country because of the money these people bring from South Africa, it is the education index that bear the negative impact of this migration,” Chirwa said.

The DC said many girls tend to drop out of school and get married to men working in South Africa for material gains and that such marriages do not last long.

“These men fail to sustain their marriages because once they migrate to South Africa, they stop supporting their families,” he said.

Canaan Sakala is one of the young men who wants to travel to South Africa. He told Malawi News Agency (Mana) that most people from Mzimba travel to South Africa because of lack of economic opportunities in Malawi.

“Lack of employment and pangs of poverty are some of the reasons why people in Mzimba flock to South Africa in large numbers,” Sakala said.