Economic History

This paper seeks to give reasons for migratory trends in the Southern African region. Migration can be caused by a number of factors which can be generally put under two categories; push and pull factors. An economy in fee-fall, soaring inflation, unemployment, collapse of public services, political oppression and deepening poverty prove to be powerful, virtually irresistible push factors for many countries, for example Zanzibar.

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On the other hand, good living conditions which include well paying Jobs may thus fall under the category of lull factors as they tend to attract people from those countries suffering from political and socio-economic problems. In the Southern African region, many countries tend to flood South Africa. Labor migratory trends can be traced back to the nineteenth century. The discovery of diamonds (1866) in the Northern Cape triggered movement from every corner in the Southern African region. It transformed South Africa from a predominantly subsistence agricultural economy into a modern capitalist economy .

It is generally agreed that the black population was much more reluctant to seek employment in he new mines. Pressure was therefore put on blacks to force them to sell their labor to the white capitalists. This pressure took two forms: first, the black population was forced to earn money; it was now a wage economy and secondly, they were deprived of their land. With such a scenario, they would then, in their thousands, willingly seek employment . The labor was made constant by employing people from distant areas, hence the exploitation of diamonds led to an inflow of new immigrants seeking their fortunes.

Moreover, push doctors nave led to the provision to labor in South Iatric. Mass out- migration has proved to be a consequence of Zombie’s economic and social collapse . This has led to professional brain-drain and this further affected the quality of education and health care. The numbers of those exiting Zanzibar is said to have risen sharply since 2000. The South African media claims that there are three million Seminarians in South Africa. This can be cemented by Taboo Member’s report to the Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinney when he said “he has three million Seminarians in South Africa, Chanson (Macaque) has 400000 while

Botswana hosts up to 200000 of them” The reasons behind this huge out-migration in Zanzibar can be complemented by one commentator who recently observed that, the exodus of hundreds of thousands of people is the result of the Zanzibar government’s political actions and the country’s decline which have led to their economic destitution and desperation… ‘ With such information at hand, one can argue that economic deterioration in Zanzibar remains a prominent push factor while the economic prosperity in South Africa has acted as a pull factors.

South Africa is not unique in employing migrants. What is unique is that the migratory labor has lasted so long, is so sophisticated and has become so institutionalized. There can be few corners of CAD that have not felt the impact of the migration of able-bodied young men and women to the mines, factories and farms of South Africa. The other SAD country which has experienced consistent growth in importing skilled labor is Botswana. It had an estimated 80000 legal immigrants and 17000 skilled migrants spread across all sectors of the economy.

After 2000, the number of permits issued by Botswana began to decline as the overspent pursued an active ‘localization’ policy to reduce dependence on expatriates. Generally, a high increase in in-migration has negative impacts. In any case, migrants cause competition for Jobs; this therefore leads to a decrease in wages. In some cases, this causes friction between local citizens and foreigners. This eludes to the aspect of xenophobia, which allows the exclusion of non-nationals from vital services that they may be entitled to, for instance, health and education.

This further meaningless and excludes vulnerable communities, increasing inequality- even for non-nationals who are in the country legally. Migration does not only provide employment- through remittances, migrants also provide valuable income for the migrant supplying countries. Bricking noted that as the Zimmermann economy imploded, remittances became essential to the survival of those left behind. This view is further made strong by the Africa Institute which gave an estimated figure of RARE million for 1985, remitted to Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Macaque, Swaziland and Zanzibar.

Lesotho is most dependent on remittances and deferred pay. Estimates show that 60% of rural income in Lesotho is from maintenances. To this effect, remittances can be viewed as a motivating factor which may encourage people to migrate as they aim to send money or valuable goods to those left behind. Labor migratory trends in the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (CAD) can be undress trot a social perspective, tort example the inclusion of gender issues.

There is a definite fenestration’ trend to labor migration in SAD including an increase in the number and proportion of migrants who are female; and a shift in the reasons for women’s migration. That is to say, more and ore women are becoming independent migrants in their own right. The information at hand is stamped by Dodson who concludes that: “Men and women migrate for different reasons. Men go primarily in search of employment, whereas women’s migration is driven by wide range of social and reproductive factors in addition to economic incentives.

Even the economic motives for migration are gender-specific, with women going largely to trade and men to work, most in formal employment. Thus migration is closely tied to socio-economic roles and responsibilities allocated on the basis of gender”. It is however crystal clear that, women have gained courage of migrating as independent migrants in their own right and this has been lubricated by farmers in border areas who prefer to employ female migrants from neighboring countries in the fields and canning factories. Labor migratory trends in Southern African Development Community are lubricated by political and socio-economic factors.

In a case of crisis people get geared to leave the country in search of greener pastures. This can thus make migration to be a phenomenon which varies with time. Looking at SAD countries during the colonial RA, one may be quick to realize that, with a stable economy, Zanzibar once had a reasonable rate of in-migration. The country received huge numbers of migrants from Malawi, Macaque and Zambia; who came to work in the country’s commercial farms, but the numbers have considerably declined since the Land Transfer Programmer.

This is a pointer to forced migration; non-nationals who had owned vast lands were forced out of the country. In summation, labor migration can be as a result of political and socio-economic crisis, the demand for cheap labor in industrialist countries and also the need for remittances. Remittances add to the positive results of migration while cultural conflicts (xenophobia) may paint migration as negative. This is because migrants end up feeling unsafe to live in foreign countries.

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