What’s a Democracy to Do? South Africa’s Immigration Problem

After nearly three months in South Africa, I have found a conversation topic on which nearly everyone here seems to have an opinion: South Africa’s neighbor to the north, Zimbabwe. Unlike domestic, more distinctly “South African” issues, such as AIDS or apartheid, I have little trouble garnering frank, enthusiastic (and sometimes unsolicited) perspectives on what exactly to do about the near-decimated country and its dictator of more than thirty years, Robert Mugabe. Views on Mugabe vary widely. Nervous South African whites regard his intended confiscation of virtually all white-owned land…

South Africa’s Immigration Problem

When he received the Nobel Prize with Nelson Mandela in 1993, President F.W. de Klerk said it was neither sanctions nor support that rid South Africa of apartheid, but was the movement of millions into cities that sparked upheaval and strained state resources. The ability of trans-border population flows to transform the entire nature of a state holds particular anthropological, economic and political significance for South African society, as new, aggressive sub-Saharan migration flows threaten to reshape social and political order in the region. In order to preserve South Africa’s…