South Africa's Migration Policies A Regional Perspective
"Given the divergent interests of sending and receiving countries, participants expressed different views about the specifics of South Africa’s migration and border management regimes. However, they generally agreed that South Africa needed new policies. While ‘national interest’ is difficult to define, there are certain realities that should inform our under- standing of the term in the context of migration. We need an immigration policy whose principal purpose is the aggressive recruitment of skilled people. This is vital to economic development and for increasing our ability to educate and train young South Africans. In practice, this means that South Africa needs to welcome, with a minimum of conditions, any migrant with skills. Moreover, ‘skills’ must be defined widely to include anyone with formal tertiary qualifications from recognised institutions, as well as people with entrepreneurial ability and/or significant experience in technical work. The mechanics of border management are not the only relevant issues; policy-makers must also grapple with the political and social costs of migration. As the workshop heard, large migration flows are generally poorly received by the population of the receiving country. And, as we know from our own recent history, they can exacerbate social tensions and lead to xenophobic violence."