#SouthAfrica is a popular destination for #immigrants, especially from other #African countries. Does their presence affect the #employment chances of South Africans? Raphael Chaskalson presents results from an #econometric model that attempts to tackle this question.
On 1 May 2008, riots broke out against #foreign nationals in #Alexandra #township, a densely populated settlement some two miles east of Sandton, sub-Saharan Africa’s financial centre. The iconic image of Mozambican national Ernesto Nhamuave being burnt alive shocked South African audiences and quickly spread across the #world. Within two weeks, “#xenophobic violence” had spread across South Africa. Those targeted were largely #foreignAfrican and #SouthAsian nationals. After two weeks, more than 60 people had been #killed and more than 100,000 #displaced.
The “charges” against immigrants are typical of anti-#immigrant sentiment globally: a 2010 survey by the Southern African Migration Programme found that 60% of South Africans believe immigrants “take jobs”, whilst 55% believe that they worsen crime.
But in fact we know very little about the actual labour market effects of immigration to South Africa.
The best source of useful demographic information about immigrants in South Africa is the census, the most recent of which was in the 2011 census. There are, of course, problems with using these data. Demographic trends may well have changed in the six years since 2011. There is also a risk that immigrants may dodge census surveyors if they are scared of being victimised by the authorities, so that the data may underestimate immigration to South Africa. But, taking the data at face value, we can glean useful demographic features of immigrants compared to South African born workers.
Read more at https://www.groundup.org.za