Socio-economic Impacts of Intra- and Extra- Regional Southern African Development Community Migration on South Africa
Governance of international migration, which involves cross-border movement of people from adjoining countries and intra – and extra-regional non-adjoining countries, is currently a topical global issue. South-North and South-South are the commonest directional migratory flows; eighty percent of the latter is cross-border, a widespread phenomenon within the Southern African Development Community. Over the years, the popular view in South Africa has been that African migrants mainly negatively impact the country socio-economically. The presence of African migrants triggered two major xenophobic attacks in 2008 and 2015. The research question addressed in this article is: what are the socio-economic impacts of African migrants on South Africa? Critical in-depth analysis of literature, empirical studies and official documents indicate positive impacts co-exist with negative ones. The former include ‘brain gain’ from highly-qualified African academics in instruction/research positions in universities, provision of essential services by African medical personnel in the public health system, job creation and development of business skills by African small-business owners/entrepreneurs and provision of essential services by semi-skilled/unskilled African migrants to the agricultural, construction and domestic services sectors. Governance of migration informed by the country’s need for ‘scarce and critical skills’, and entrepreneurial acumen is recommended.
Keywords: Brain Drain and Brain Gain, Development, Socio-economic Impacts, Migration, Push and Pull Factors, South Africa
© 2018 The authors.
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