Crossing the Threshold of Regionalism Can We Meet the Social Cost of Integration in Southern Africa?

Access to long-term social security such as pension and health care benefits are of particular concern to migrant workers. They generally lose any benefits that may have been accrued in a host country if they move back to their country of origin after their work period. In a context where labour migration is big, and set to increase with deeper regional integration, the possible portability of social benefits for migrant workers across countries in the region becomes an important social protection mechanism. This policy brief raises the importance of such a regionally focused social security system as an important instrument for improving the quality of life for migrant workers; thereby contributing to overcoming poverty and more effectively managing the movement of people between countries in the region.