Understanding challenges of Zimbabwean migrants in Mahikeng, South Africa
Phake, Kagiso Glen
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The study attempts to understand the social challenges that Zimbabwean migrants face in South Africa, with special emphasis on the town of Mahikeng in the North West Province. The research looks at the challenges that Zimbabwean migrants face in Mahikeng by analysing how they are treated by the residents of this town. In addition to understanding the challenges that Zimbabwean migrants encounter in Mahikeng, the study also, investigates the reasons for Zimbabweans migrating to Mahikeng. The study makes use of the qualitative research method. In-depth interviews were conducted with 28 Zimbabwean migrants who reside in Mahikeng, which constituted of both males and females. Snowball sampling was used to acquire the 28 research Participants. A research interview guide was developed for data collection purposes. The research revealed that many migrants who participated in the study where not facing any significant challenges, while others stated that they were facing some social challenges, either by being mistreated by the locals or government officials. The study also revealed that migrants are being pushed out of Zimbabwe by the current socioeconomic situation and pulled into South Africa. The study further outlines that Zimbabwean migrants in Mahikeng have developed a network which in part assists them in terms of surviving in the town. The network assists migrants in terms of finding. a place for them to stay and a job as soon as they arrive in the town. In terms of assisting these migrants it would be advisable for the South African government to develop a policy that would protect these migrants from abuse by citizens of this country. The Mahikeng local government should ensure that migrants who are staying in this town are allowed easy access to basic public services such as clinics. With that in mind when looking at the policy implications, one could state that South Africa has created a flow of different migrants, but has not yet developed an encompassing policy to properly address this flow. The South African legislation does not cover the influx of migrants and only has two instruments of law that deal directly with immigration. These laws are namely the Immigration Act of 2002 and the Refugee Act of 1998, and should develop one that covers such a flow.
- Humanities