Regional transborder legacies and the inadequacies of South African immigration policy

SOURCE: State of the Nation South Africa 2016: who is in charge?: mandates, accountability and contestations in the South African state
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2016
TITLE AUTHOR(S): N.Pophiwa, M.Wentzel, J.Viljoen
SOURCE EDITOR(S): D.Plaatjies, M.Chitiga-Mabugu, C.Hongoro, T.Meyiwa, M.Nkondo, F.Nyamnjoh
KEYWORDS: BORDER CONTROL, IMMIGRATION, POLICY IMPLEMENTATION
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9057

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Abstract

This chapter concludes that regional transborder legacies of migration cannot be wished away; rather, they need to be confronted with durable solutions, considering that political, economic and social crises among South Africa's neighbours are continuing. The chapter further argues that the immigration is within the DHA?s area of competence, and that the DHA has the capacity to modify and change immigration for the benefit of citizens and immigrants alike. A further issue that needs to be taken into consideration is the fact that immigration will continue on different pretexts, in different dimensions and under different conditions as long as the subregion continues to play the role of a labour reserve for South Africa. Consider, for instance, the fact that prior to 1990 most labour migrants were employed in the formal sector, but since 1990 labour migrants have started to work in the informal economy as owner-operators, or as employees of microenterprises in sectors such as construction, transport, tourism, domestic work and agriculture. Despite South Africa's progressive human-rights approach as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, immigration management in practice still exudes vestiges of apartheid logic, which need to be addressed (Vigneswaran 2008).