Freedom of Movement in Southern Africa: A SADC (pipe) dream?

Growing socio-economic disparities within and between states in Southern Africa are a major impediment to adopting a more collective approach to managing migration. This is compounded by a lack of political will from Southern African Development Community leaders and an absence of reliable data. This report looks at policies, practices and positions on migration. On paper, the prospects for freedom of movement are there. In practice, more needs to be done. As an exploratory study, this report develops some guiding policy recommendations that are both relevant and pragmatic to foster the implementation of a regional migration governance framework in SADC. The first section of the report outlines the main features of migration in Southern Africa. The second investigates the current state of migration governance. The third examines the main impediments to free movement in SADC. The fourth section argues that SADC member states would benefit immensely from a regional migration policy framework. The fifth focuses on South Africa’s perspective on migration and explores how this impacts on the prospects of freedom of movement in SADC and the rest of the continent.