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Migration crisis in South Africa and on the African continent

By Neelam Rahim

Many people choose to migrate for various reasons, including better job opportunities, civil wars, and unstable economies are just some of the possible causes.

In discussion with Radio Islam International is the South African Research Chair Initiative also the political economy of migration in Southern African Development Community, Professor Christopher Changwe Nshimbi.

Migration is not just an issue for South Africa but across the globe, and it is seen that over the last few decades, migration has increased. Prof Nshimbi said the most obvious are those forcibly displaced by war, famine or floods. The UNSCR gives records on the number of displacements.

According to Prof Nshimbi, last year’s UNSCR recorded over 80 million people displaced worldwide. But then some migrants move to look for jobs which is another category. They cannot be confined to Africa only. They move around the world or in multi-direction.

Regarding the implications or consequences of this migration trend to different parts of the world. Prof Nshimbi said in general, migration is beneficial for development.

“Migration is some way of life, all living beings are mobile. From a labour perspective it is found that people migrate in order to fill positions.”

South Africa is one country that does not push refugees into camps worldwide. Instead, we allow integration into societies. This will enable them to live a life with dignity.

According to Prof Nshimbi, a negative impact on migration is misconceptions about migration. There is a lack of social cohesion, which doesn’t work well with migration.

She says regarding refugee camps, there is the restriction that steals away the rights of individuals when you limit their ability to progress in life.

Listen to the full interview on Radio Islam’s podcast below.


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