Africa Today

Africa Today 48.3, Fall 2001

Special Issue: Evaluating South African Immigration Policy after Apartheid

Contents

Articles

    Crush, J. S.
    McDonald, David A. (David Alexander)
  • Introduction to Special Issue: Evaluating South African Immigration Policy after Apartheid
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    Subject Headings:
    • South Africa -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy.
    • Alien labor -- South Africa.
    • South Africa -- Politics and government -- 1994-
    Abstract:
      Apartheid-era immigration laws remain in force in South Africa. The will to change is considerable but the whole transformation process has been constantly bedeviled by the complexity of the issues and political tensions between the ruling ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party.
    Peberdy, Sally.
  • Imagining Immigration: Inclusive Identities and Exclusive Policies in Post-1994 South Africa
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    Subject Headings:
    • South Africa -- Politics and government -- 1994-
    • South Africa -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy.
    • Citizenship -- South Africa.
    • Nationalism -- South Africa.
    Abstract:
      The re-creation of South Africa in 1994 as an inclusive democracy in which the state, for the first time, represents all of the country's citizens has led to a new interest in immigration. This paper documents the development of new state discourses and exclusionary immigration policies since 1994. This paper examines these new fears about immigration, and the seeming contradiction between the immigration policies of the post-1994 South African state and its apparent commitment to democracy, inclusivity, and human rights. These developments are placed within the context of the construction of its new nation-building project and national identity. This paper argues that a shift toward citizenship and inclusivity as markers of belonging has led, paradoxically, to an exclusive and increasingly restrictionist immigration policy.
    Klaaren, Jonathan.
    Ramji, Jaya.
  • Inside Illegality: Migration Policing in South Africa after Apartheid
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    Subject Headings:
    • South Africa -- Politics and government -- 1994-
    • Emigration and immigration law -- South Africa.
    • Human rights -- South Africa.
    Abstract:
      South Africa's migration policing policy has not changed substantially since the demise of apartheid. Tactics used by the police in recent operations are dramatically similar to apartheid policing practices. While some amendments to the legislative regime have aimed to protect human rights, the structures introduced have failed to make any impact. The discretion allowed to police has contributed to the institutional and symbolic entrenchment of the lack of legal status for undocumented migrants. At the level of implementation, the police and the army have played major roles in migration policing with no more than administrative oversight from the Department of Home Affairs. The policing strategy pursued has been one of border control backed up with intrusive and extensive internal military-style policing. Corruption is an institutional feature of both the arrest and detention of undocumented migrants. Numerous human rights abuses occur in the arrest and detention of undocumented migrants as well as of refugees. Despite the embarrassing attention of domestic and foreign human rights organizations exposing certain instances of abuse, the principal features of this policing strategy have remained intact and human rights abuses have continued through to the present.
    Crush, J. S.
    Tshitereke, Clarence.
  • Contesting Migrancy: The Foreign Labor Debate in Post-1994 South Africa
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gold mines and mining -- Employees -- Supply and demand -- South Africa.
    • Alien labor -- South Africa.
    • South Africa -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy.
    Abstract:
      In the minds of its victims and critics, South African mine migrancy epitomized everything that was worst about capitalism and apartheid. The system and its associated institutions remain very much intact but do not look particularly comfortable in the new political and human rights-based dispensation of postapartheid South Africa. Historically, the mines enjoyed privileged access to foreign labor, a "right" denied by the state to most other employers. The continued exclusion of other employers from accessing similar rights has led, perhaps inevitably, to greatly increased usage of undocumented or "illegal" foreign labor by South African employers in other sectors. Logically, the state has two options: open up the system to all or close it down once and for all. To date, it has done neither, as we show. This paper traces the postapartheid South African policy debate on regional migration and foreign contract labor to demonstrate how the mining industry has headed off any challenge to the status quo. The result is that the prospects for a fundamental transformation of the contract labor system remain as elusive as ever.
    Dodson, Belinda.
  • Discrimination by Default? Gender Concerns in South African Migration Policy
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    Subject Headings:
    • South Africa -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy.
    • Sex discrimination against women -- South Africa.
    • South Africa -- Politics and government -- 1994-
    Abstract:
      This paper presents a gender analysis of the South African government's proposed new policy on international migration, identifying a number of areas of implicit gender discrimination. Such "discrimination by default" is of more than academic relevance, having important implications for national and regional development. Research undertaken by the Southern African Migration Project indicates a growing "feminization" of migration to South Africa from the Southern African region, as well as gender-specific motives and patterns of migration. If migration is to be effectively managed, such realities must be taken into account. The paper concludes by advocating a development-centered, "house- hold strategies" approach, both in understanding international migration to South Africa and in the further development and implementation of legislation.
    Handmaker, Jeff.
  • No Easy Walk: Advancing Refugee Protection in South Africa
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    Subject Headings:
    • Refugees-- Government policy -- South Africa.
    • Refugees -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- South Africa.
    • South Africa -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy.
    Abstract:
      South Africa only began accepting individual applications for political asylum in 1994. A policy designed to recognize former Mozambican refugees for the purposes of a repatriation program became the (awkward) basis of the asylum procedure up until April 2000. Criticized by some, a lively discussion raising often-contradictory views began in 1996, leading to a policy reform process culminating in the Refugees Act in December 1998. The Act only came into force at the beginning of April 2000. This article analyzes the process of policy development in South Africa, focusing on practical and theoretical challenges facing the government in the implementation of the new Act. Special attention is given to temporary protection, the proposed containment of applicants in reception centers, the arbitrary manner in which asylum is currently determined, and inconsistencies between the interfacing of the Refugees Act and the proposed immigration legislation. The paper concludes by asserting that the new legislation can be effective, but only if the government builds capacity, and if the procedure allows a fair opportunity for asylum applicants to be granted a credible hearing.
    Danso, Ransford.
    McDonald, David A. (David Alexander)
  • Writing Xenophobia: Immigration and the Print Media in Post-apartheid South Africa
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    Subject Headings:
    • Xenophobia -- South Africa.
    • South Africa -- Emigration and immigration -- Social aspects.
    • Mass media and ethnic relations -- South Africa.
    • South Africa -- Politics and government -- 1994-
    Abstract:
      This paper discusses the print media's coverage of cross-border migration in South Africa and how it may affect both public opinion and policymaking on the topic. The paper argues that coverage of international migration by the South African press has been largely anti-immigrant and unanalytical. Not all reportage is negative, and newspaper coverage would appear to be improving over time, but the overwhelming majority of the comprehensive collection of newspaper articles, editorials and letters to the editor surveyed for this research are negative about immigrants and immigration and are extremely unanalytical in nature, uncritically reproducing problematic statistics and assumptions about crossborder migration in the region. Although it is impossible to draw direct causal links between this kind of anti-immigrant media coverage and anti-immigrant policymaking and xenophobia in South Africa, the paper does argue that the two are at least mutually reinforcing and that the print media has a responsibility to be more balanced and factual in its reporting on the issue.
    Oucho, John O.
    Crush, J. S.
  • Contra Free Movement: South Africa and SADC Migration Protocols
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    Subject Headings:
    • Southern African Development Community.
    • Freedom of movement -- Africa, Southern.
    • Africa, Southern -- Economic integration.
    • Africa, Southern -- Foreign relations -- South Africa.
    • South Africa -- Foreign relations -- Africa, Southern.
    Abstract:
      This paper examines the formidable obstacles to the development of a regionally harmonized approach to migration management in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Tracing the origins and development of SADC initiatives on regional cooperation on population movement, the paper shows how the far-reaching 1995 SADC Draft Protocol on Free Movement was killed off by South Africa. An examination of South Africa's response and counterproposals reveal the myth and paranoia that characterize thinking on crossborder migration within the country. The SADC initiative to develop a Migration Protocol, akin to those on education and training and regional trade, finally ran aground in Mauritius in September 1998. This paper shows why it has been so difficult to develop a regional protocol on population movement and speculates on the likelihood of such a development in the future.

Book Reviews

    Maynard, Kent, 1947-
  • Spirit Possession, Modernity and Africa (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Behrend, Heike, ed. Spirit possession, modernity and Africa.
    • Luig, Ute, ed.
    • Spirit possession -- Africa, Sub-Saharan.
    Azarya, Victor.
  • Ethnicity Kills?: The Politics of War, Peace, and Ethnicity in Sub-Saharan Africa (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Braathen, Einar, 1957-, ed. Ethnicity kills?: the politics of war, peace, and ethnicity in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Bøås, Morten, 1965-, ed.
    • Sæther, Gjermund, 1967-, ed.
    • Africa, Sub-Saharan -- Politics and government -- 1960- -- Congresses.
    Sandberg, Eve Nan.
  • Rivonia's Children: Three Families and the Cost of Conscience in White South Africa (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Frankel, Glenn. Rivonia's children: three families and the cost of conscience in white South Africa.
    • South Africa -- Politics and government -- 1961-1978.
    Jalloh, Alusine, 1963-
  • Slaves and Slaveholders on the Gold Coast: Towards an Understanding of Social Bondage in West Africa (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Haenger, Peter. Slaves and slave holders on the Gold Coast: towards an understanding of social bondage in West Africa.
    • Slavery -- Gold Coast -- History.
    Ofcansky, Thomas P., 1947-
  • Genocide and Gross Human Rights Violations (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Jonassohn, Kurt. Genocide and gross human rights violations.
    • Björnson, Karin Solveig.
    • Genocide -- Case studies.
    Livingston, Julie.
  • Historical Dictionary of Greater Johannesburg (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Musiker, Naomi. Historical dictionary of Greater Johannesburg.
    • Musiker, Reuben.
    • Johannesburg Region (South Africa) -- History -- Dictionaries.
    Ohaegbulam, Festus Ugboaja.
  • Historical Dictionary of Nigeria (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Oyewole, A. Historical dictionary of Nigeria.
    • Lucas, John, 1963-
    • Nigeria -- History -- Dictionaries.



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