Introduction: migrant labour after apartheid
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The South African migrant labour system is understood to have been brought to a close officially with the end of apartheid. After the introduction of democracy in 1994, there was a deliberate attempt to reverse the rural-urban migratory labour system in favour of a state-supported urbanisation strategy for the African poor in cities. This was accompanied first by policies to address poverty and landlessness in rural areas between 1994 and 2000, and later evolved into a stimulation policy for economically viable, market-orientated, small-scale farmers in rural areas (including the former homelands). The aim of the policy framework promoted by the new African National Congress (ANC) government was to create fixed populations, rooted in urban and rural areas, with different but complementary spatial economies built on a firm commitment to place-based development.