n Africa Insight - Democratic South Africa in the international migration-development nexus : the development impact for sub-Saharan Africa

Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


South Africa can be classified as a country of the semi-periphery in terms of its Human Development Index (HDI). With its relatively advanced infrastructure, as well as the new opportunities made available by the process of globalisation, democratic South Africa has become increasingly attractive to immigrants from regions of the periphery, particularly sub-Saharan Africa. However, the country has also experienced deficits in net international migration relative to the core Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) region of the world system. The tentative conclusion to be drawn from South Africa's involvement in international migration is that it has tapped from the skills pool of countries of the periphery, and from sub-Saharan Africa in particular, in return for its own loss of skills to the core region. The article argues that South Africa, a semi-periphery, operates in ways that hinder the development of the periphery.

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