A narrative exploration of migrants to South Africa and how they navigate the changing immigration landscape

Read, Brigitte Renate
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Economic migrants to South Africa face a hostile reception; periodic displays of widespread xenophobia have highlighted the myths and stereotypes that still abound about foreigners - that they are job-stealers, criminals and a threat to our nation’s well-being. The Department of Home Affairs recently brought in new immigration laws that raise the barriers to entry and participation in the South African economy and society. Yet a back door has been left wide open for economic migrants, often unskilled and with no other options, to enter South Africa, live and work. For six consecutive years South Africa was the number one destination for asylum seekers globally and the influx has caused the refugee determination process to become clogged and corrupt, leaving genuine refugees vulnerable and hundreds of thousands of foreigners in an unhappy limbo. The accompanying narrative long form journalism piece highlights some of the fault lines in the government’s uncoordinated and inconsistent migration policy. Overall the project seeks to personalize some of the key challenges and contentious issues faced by migrants to South Africa. It aims to puts a human face to a bureaucratic process by accessing the stories of marginalized migrants, giving them a voice to articulate their experiences in South Africa. The accompanying method document outlines some of the academic research underpinning the study.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand, 2016
Read, Brigitte Renate (2016) A narrative exploration of migrants to South Africa and how they navigate the changing immigration landscape, University of the Witwatersrand,<http://hdl.handle.net/10539/21834>