Migration policy implementation and its politics in South Africa

Keywords: Migration, xenophobism, security, development, South Africa, Africa, globalization, migrants, policies


Globally, migration is to a certain degree an important and highly debated political topic among scholars because of its peculiarity to human movement and relationship between states. Migration is fundamental to liberal democracies and a function of the international system of states. Following the demise of the apartheid system and the adoption of inclusive governance in South Africa in 1994, the country has continued to witness an influx of migrants. However, the call for the deportation and rejection of migrants amongst South Africans has continued to increase with black foreign nationals at the receiving end, sometimes openly or clandestinely done by government officials. Using a qualitative research method, underpinned by the following questions (i) Is South Africa playing politics with its migration policies, while surreptitiously legalizing xenophobism? (ii) Can well-managed migration policies allay the fears of foreign nationals, particularly the blacks in South Africa? (iii) What effects would anti-immigrants’ laws and attitudes have on South Africa’s relations with other [African] countries? The paper argued that South Africa’s preoccupation with restrictionism policies, driven by xenophobism and political interest, seems to have compromised inroads for immigrants that are very important to its economic growth, concluding that unless the rhetoric of a perceived socio-economic threat, posed by migrants, is countered effectively, South Africa’s economies stand to lose out substantially from the implementation of anti-immigration policies.


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Author Biography

Toyin Cotties Adetiba, University of Zululand

Department of Political and International Studies


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How to Cite
Adetiba, T. C. (2022). Migration policy implementation and its politics in South Africa. EUREKA: Social and Humanities, (3), 91-103. https://doi.org/10.21303/2504-5571.2022.002383
Social Sciences