ISBN 9781920596408
Pages 40
Dimensions 244 x 170 mm
Published 2017
Publisher Southern African Migration Programme, South Africa
Format Paperback

Rendering South Africa Undesirable

by Jonathan Crush, Caroline Skinner, Manal Stulgaitis

To understand the policy environment within which refugees establish and operate their enterprises in South Africa’s informal sector, this report brings together two streams of policy analysis. The first concerns the changing refugee policies and the erosion of the progressive approach that characterized the immediate post-apartheid period. The second concerns the informal sector policy, which oscillates between tolerance and attempted destruction at national and municipal levels. While there have  been  longstanding  tensions  between  foreign  and  South  African  informal sector operators, an overtly anti-foreign migrant sentiment has increasingly been expressed in official policy and practice.

This report describes the strategies being used to turn South Africa into an undesirable destination for refugees, including the setting up of additional procedural, administrative and logistical hurdles; the undercutting of court judgments affirming the right of asylum-seekers and refugees to employment and self-employment; ensuring that protection is always temporary by making it extremely difficult for refugees to progress to permanent residence and eventual citizenship; and restricting opportunities to pursue a livelihood in the informal sector. The authors conclude that the protection of refugee rights is likely to continue to depend on a cohort of non-governmental organizations prioritizing migrant livelihood rights and being willing and able to pursue time-consuming and costly litigation on their behalf.

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About the Authors

Jonathan Crush

Jonathan Crush is a Professor and CIGI Chair in Global Migration and Development at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo, Canada, and an Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town.

Caroline Skinner

Caroline Skinner is a Senior Researcher at the African Centre for Cities, and Urban Research Director for Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing, Cape Town, South Africa

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