International Migration in South Africa
This essay report is going to discuss migration and different types of migration, it is also going to confer why people move using a theory of Push and Pull factors. Migration is a broad topic therefore this discussion is going to narrow the topic down using a concept of International migration as its main focus and foundation and more importantly the main causes of international migration in South Africa. Using a South African case this discussion will also ask why the country is losing its skilled workers to developed countries and answer that using theory and historical factors. South Africa is a favorite destination for most African immigrants more especially the Zimbabwean Nationals this discussion will attempt to explain the reasons for its appeal to African immigrants.
What is Migration?
Migration in its broadest sense according to Weeks connotes the permanent movement of people from one place to another (Weeks 2008: 262). In other words migration can be explained as the change and detachment from the familiar dwelling or habitation to a wholly new surrounding with the intention to stay there on permanent basis (Weeks 2008: 262). Migration is different however from sojourner and mobility which also involve movement from one place to another however the reason why these two processes do not qualify as migration is that they involve movement but that is temporal rather than permanent of which it is the case with migration and thus it defining factor (Weeks 2008: 263).
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The broadest level definition of migration is all inclusive meaning that it includes different types of migration. Migration can be international and also internal, it also can be voluntary and involuntary (Weeks 2008: 263).Internal migration is whereby persons move within their country of birth or origin, it movement with boarders (Weeks 2008: 263).South Africa for example we know that historically the rural-urban migration was a fundamental part of labor-market participation and you habitually found individuals migrating from rural to City areas in pursuit of employment prospects and family subsistence.
International migration is the subset of migration that involves movement from country of birth/origin and moving into a foreign country or State (Weeks 2008: 261). International migration can be further segregated into legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, asylees and refugees (Weeks 2008: 264). Legal immigrants are those individuals who have been granted authorization by the State officials to live in that country they wish to migrate into (Weeks 2008: 264). Illegal immigrants however are those immigrants who sneak in the country without documentation (Weeks 2008: 264).
Weeks go further to define Refugees as person “Owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for any reason of race, religion, nationality, member of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country” (Weeks 2008: 264). Asylees are also refugees however unlike the refugees who apply to their country of choice whilst they still outside, asylees are already in that country to which they applying to stay in (Weeks 2008: 264).
Voluntary migration is whereby people roam the land in search of better employment and better education, International migration in most cases is voluntary migration however there is a long process that one need to follow before they granted permission within that country and the decision to voluntary migrate is frequently informed by economic dynamics (Weeks 2008: 263).Involuntary migration is when people are forced to move by State or war (Weeks 2008: 263), for example the South African black population of 1913 faced involuntary migration where they were forced to evict their place of dwelling when the Apartheid government passed the Act number 27,the Natives Land Act (Feinberg 1993: 65).
Apartheid system can be described as state action intended to protect and preserve white supremacy by advancing white political and economic securities through regulation of the black majority population (Feinberg 1993: 65). The mechanisms of population control utilized, consist of the parade of involuntary removal envisioned to control, rift and segregate the populaces of South Africa (Feinberg 1993: 65). Forced removals which are a form of involuntary migration have ensued in different historical times with different meanings and in different guises, but ultimately the whole process can be traced back to the structures of black economic exploitation and white political domination intrinsic in the apartheid system (Feinberg 1993:65).
The Push and Pull Theory
push-pull theory of migration is a neoclassical theory that emphasizes that some people tend to move from their habitation or place of dwelling because they are pushed out of that place by push factors which are stressors/strain in their environment while some migrate because of Pull factors that exist in their destination of choice (Weeks 2008: 271).These push factors range from densely populated areas, low living standards, lack of economic opportunities, forced migration through war or by State and also political repression (Weeks 2008: 271). This theory’s genesis is traced to Ravenstein (1889) who was trying to analyzed migration in England by employing the 1881 census data of Wales and England (Weeks 2008: 271). This theory is frequently employed to explain why people migrate (Weeks 2008: 270). Pull factors are demand for labour, availability of land, good economic opportunities and political freedoms (Weeks 2008: 270).
Factors that push skilled workers out of the country
Crime and Violence The high crime rate is one of the contributing factors that have made skilled workers to leave South Africa (Rasool et al 2012:12). A shared reason as to why they choose to emigrate is that they want to raise their children in a safe environment not one where they always fear for their children lives or that they might be victimized(Rasool et al 2012: 12). Crime is costing South Africa much in the form of the senseless deaths, and profits and skills. It also disturbs the operation of certain sectors and a consequence is a reduction in the brain pool and subsequent to this is brain drain (Rasool et al 2012:13).
Brain drain phenomena is defined as the movement of highly skilled and qualified people from their country of origin to a foreign country where they can work in better conditions and earn more money and incentives (Rasool et al 2012:13). It is indicated that the monetary costs sustained because of crime are major. It is estimated that it cost about R250 000 to substitute a skilled employee in South Africa thus this not matter needs serious attention as to how we can better retain workers(Rasool et al 2012: 13).
Affirmative action and employment equity have pushed many skilled workers out of the country. These policies are a major source of concern held by white people. Individuals affected by affirmative action are of the view that their talents or skills are not appreciated by government or certain organizations. Therefore, many white South Africans have left South Africa to seek greener pastures . Results of a survey undertaken by the Southern African Migration Project indicate that approximately 83% of white people and 20% of black people are opposed to the government’s affirmative action policy (McDonald and Crush
Reference list Feinberg,H.M. (1993). The 1913 Natives Land Act in South Africa: Politics, Race, and Segregation in the early 20th century. The international journal of African historical studies. 26(1): 65-109. Weeks,J.(2008) Population: An introduction to concepts and issues 11th edition Wadsworth, Belmont.