n Journal of Public Administration - Immigration and refugee policies : unpacking policy dilemmas in South Africa

Volume 46, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Migration as a practice is as old as the human race. It has increased in recent times as globalisation has made it possible for people to gain knowledge of opportunities existing in lands beyond their borders. South Africa has been a destination point for many nationalities from within the African continent as well as those from as far afield as China, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This is mainly due to the pull factors such as peace and political stability, coupled with economic prosperity that South Africa has enjoyed over the years. Equally important are the push factors such as war, famine, political and economic instability that exist in source countries. The article examines how the state attempts to balance the demands of the need to maintain state security while at the same time satisfying the demands of integrating with other states both in Africa and the world. What are the contradictions that are inherent in the pursuit of the two agendas? The article argues that the South African immigration policy regime should meet regional and international set standards while at the same time addressing the local needs. Such a balance would advance South Africa's national interests in a holistic manner.

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