Foreign labour migration to South Africa after apartheid : continuity or change?

Myataza, Lutando Samuel (1995) Foreign labour migration to South Africa after apartheid : continuity or change? Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Migrant labour constitutes one of the perennial problems of the political economy of the Southern African region. The movement of people between their home countries and the gold mines in South Africa is over a hundred years old. In this sense, labour migrancy predates apartheid, and is now threatening to outlive it. Migrants working in South Africa make up a sizable proportion of the total wage earning population of the neighbouring countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and Malawi). Their entrenched dependence on migrant-based revenue has made them vulnerable to fluctuations in labour flows to the gold mines (Davies, 1992) The developments since the first quarter of 1988 have altered the terms of debate on migrant labour. With the independence of Namibia and the establishment of a new government in South Africa, to name but a few, the pattern of future regional cooperation has become a central issue. Likewise, the debate about labour migrancy has entered a new phase. Given the current political changes, and yet to take place, this study constitutes a modest attempt to contribute to the debate by examining the prospects of restructuring of labour migrancy to the gold mining industry. The central aim of this undertaking will be to establish what the future holds for the foreign component of the labour force. The focus here will be on the emerging debates in this area, policy pronouncements by major stakeholders, the Chamber of Mines and the new Government of National Unity. However, an informed forecast on the future of labour migrancy is possible only if we establish the conditions that created it in the first place; how it has been constructed overtime; and the successive moments of transformation in the system. In this regard, this study will locate the origins and development of labour migration in its proper historical context ~ before drawing conclusions about the future of the system. In this scholarly pursuit one does not pretend to break a new ground but rather to re-interpret the current literature on migration and establish whether the current pattern of labour migration will change. The research will be based mainly on secondary materials, drawing extensively on published materials, journals and articles.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Foreign workers, Labour migration, South Africa, Blacks, Employment
Subjects:J Political Science
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Political Studies and International Studies
Supervisors:Ajulu, Rok
ID Code:3791
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:24 Oct 2012 07:00
Last Modified:24 Oct 2012 07:00
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