ABSTRACT

South Africa, being the economic hub of the Southern African region, is home to immigrants from diverse backgrounds and across the racial divide. The continual immigration of people into the country has generated attrition between citizens and immigrants from the region, with immigrants being accused of many negativities. Chapter 11, being an ‘Aside’, presents the living experience of migrants in South Africa from three major cities – Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town. Using various data collection tools such as household questionnaires and focus group discussions, data was collected from immigrants on various subjects, among which are access to public space, economic and institutional factors. What emerges from the data is that most immigrants do not feel fully integrated in South African cities despite the fact that there is freedom of movement. The lack of integration is underlined by fear and hostilities which normally manifest in xenophobic incidents. The major bone of contention seems to arise from the competition for economic opportunities. The general feeling prevailing among immigrants is that the government is not doing enough to integrate immigrants into the host society – hence the call for NGOs and related organisations to work closely with locals and migrants to achieve this common cause.