Migration and population trends in Gauteng province 1996-2055

Type Working Paper - Migration Studies Working Paper
Title Migration and population trends in Gauteng province 1996-2055
Issue 42
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
Page numbers 1-26
URL http://www.urbanlandmark.org/newsletter/issue/0403/download/42_LandauGindrey.pdf
This short paper summarises a variety of trends and concerns related to migration and other forms of human mobility in Gauteng Province. For present purposes, this includes most forms of international and domestic into, through, and out of the Province. (This report explicitly excludes movements associated with short-term tourism.) Although less politically visible than cross-border flows, this study finds that domestic migration (urbanisation and migration within the Province) has been and will continue to be the most significant and challenging form of mobility affecting Gauteng’s development trajectory. Given its brevity, this report is highlights only a limited number of migration’s real and potential impacts. In doing so, it reaches three primary conclusions:
• First, as long as Gauteng retains its pre-eminent economic position within the region, human mobility will continue to be a key characteristic of the Province’s socio-economic landscape. The Province’s relative successes in generating employment and combating poverty will only encourage movements to its urban centres. This will remain so regardless of policies intended to slow or accelerate or domestic or international migration. Contrary to popular expectations, economic development and investments in rural areas or elsewhere in the region are likely to accelerate migration in both the short and long term.
• Second, provincial or national migration policies are unlikely to significantly affect the total numbers of migrants in the province. However, policy regimes (including implementation) are and will remain primary determinants of how mobility affects the province’s developmental trajectory. Although an effective policy framework can not guarantee that migration will have positive economic or social effects, it can promote material investment and social capital in the Province. Conversely, Gauteng’s failure to develop and implement a well informed and pragmatic approach to migration, will all but ensure lost economic opportunities, insecurity, less accountable institutions, and a reduced ability to achieve benchmarks across a range of economic, social, and political fields.
• Third, migration cannot be addressed effectively as a stand-alone issue. Nor can the Province alone address it. Human mobility affects all economic, social, and political processes. As such, it should be incorporated into all projections and policy considerations. Effectively addressing migration will also require a coordinated approach bridging departments and the three spheres of government. The Province is also encouraged to work with SADC and other bodies to develop an effective regional international migration regime.

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