Skilled Labor Migration and Cooperation with the Member States of the South African Development Community (SADC)
One of the main future challenges for migration policy in South Africa will be the emigration of highly skilled labor. The causes for this emigration arise primarily from dissatisfaction with the social and economic situation in this country.
The Orientation of Migration Policy and Xenophobia
South Africa’s migration policy continues to be shaped by its very restrictive basic understanding of migration. However, not only the shortage of skilled labor in this country demonstrates the clear necessity to open up politically. Migration policy must also put more consideration into the economic development and social inequality in South Africa. At the same time, it is important to take into account the effects of immigration upon the countries sending migrants, especially the neighboring countries. Furthermore, there need to be efforts to change the image of migrants, so they are no longer seen as a threat. It is also essential to combat xenophobia in the South African population. The widespread xenophobia is a result of the political failures and socio-economic injustices of the post-Apartheid-era.
Integration, the Asylum System, Data Availability
Migration movements, which in South Africa also constitute processes of urbanization, bring about great challenges especially for the local authorities who have to deal with them. Some communities have already recognized that migration can be an important factor for their economic development.
The asylum system also needs to be reformed. Until now the State's position toward asylum-seekers has been ambivalent. On the one hand South Africa is obligated to fulfill international human rights agreements. On the other hand, refugees and asylum-seekers are granted no or limited rights in this respect. Migration policy has also failed to ensure the collection of data on migration movements in, out of, and to South Africa. Statistics are often lacking, out-of-date, or contradictory, which makes a clear overview of the developments in this area more difficult.
This text is part of the