Original Research

South Africa’s foreign and migration policies missteps: fuels of xenophobic eruptions?

Mpedi Madue
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 11, No 4 | a42 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v11i4.42 | © 2015 Mpedi Madue | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 February 2016 | Published: 31 December 2015

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Mpedi Madue, Department of Public Management & Administration, North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa

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South Africa plays a crucial role in the development of the African continent, especially in the South African Development Community. Hence, South Africa’s foreign and migration policies shape the perceptions of both its citizens and those of neighbouring states. Since 1994, South Africa has continued to attract the highest number of migrants in the region. The widespread perceptions among South Africans that there are “floods” of illegal immigrants, stealing their jobs and depleting social and economic resources, is a course for concern. Undoubtedly, the South African society is under pressure to effectively respond to the sporadic eruptions of xenophobic attacks on African foreign nationals. This article argues that the missteps of South Africa’s foreign and migration policies partially contribute towards fuelling xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals. The findings of this article suggest that South Africa is not as committed to rooting out xenophobia as it would have us believe.


foreign policy; migration; multilateralism; xenophobia


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