Contemporary migration to South Africa: A regional development issue

Type Book
Title Contemporary migration to South Africa: A regional development issue
Edition 1
Volume 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Publisher World Bank
City Washinton DC
Country/State United States of America
Southern Africa’s economy and society have been shaped by human mobility and elaborate efforts to control it. The results include spatialized patterns of poverty and politically volatile inequality. The end of apartheid in South Africa and conflicts elsewhere, coupled with shifting modes of production and political reforms, mean that more people are moving for ever more diverse reasons. For some, these new forms of mobility offer the promise of moving out of poverty. They also generate new governance challenges. Although migration is now a central component of people’s livelihoods across the region, policies to manage and capitalize on these movements have lagged, creating two disjunctures. The fi rst is the gap between what migrants are already doing—or trying to do—and the understanding of the long-term impact of mobility on livelihoods and poverty. The second is the chasm between governments’ commitments to promoting regional integration, protecting human rights, and countering poverty on the one hand and their migration policies, administrative practices, and policing strategies on the other. Building on more than a decade of research by the African Centre for Migration and Society (formerly the Forced Migration Studies Programme) at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, this volume documents what is known about migration into and within South Africa, explores its impacts on livelihoods, and outlines policies that help shape movements and their consequences. It takes stock of what is known about migration, identifies key sectors for policy intervention, and clarifi es the reasons behind conspicuous bottlenecks. This book is a call to rethink migration regimes in Southern Africa in ways that are more explicitly developmental and focused on poverty. Current policy debates are devoted almost exclusively to border control and policing; they pay only lip service to local and regional developmental strategies. This volume takes a different approach. Its contributors are scholars who are convinced that empirically based policy making stands a better chance of succeeding than untested preconceptions that risk reproducing recipes that have failed elsewhere.

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