Immigration to South Africa


Immigration to South Africa

South Africa has an uncommon demographic profile, marked by a heterogeneous population base, social issues brought on by the legacy of apartheid, divisions within ethnic groups, HIV/AIDS and emigration. Within the "Rainbow Nation" demography consequently plays a prominent role in public policy.

Blacks compose about 79.7% (2007 est.) of the population and represent different ethnic groups, including Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho and Swazi, as well as recent immigrants from other parts of Africa (particularly Zimbabwe and Nigeria). Whites compose 9.1% (2007 est), comprising of the descendants of Dutch, French, British, and German settlers who began arriving at the Cape from the late 17th century, immigrants from Europe who arrived in South Africa in the twentieth century, and Portuguese who left the former Portuguese colonies of southern Africa (Angola and Mozambique) after their independence in the mid-1970s. Coloureds (8.8%, 2007 est) are mixed-race people primarily descended from the earliest settlers, their slaves, and the indigenous peoples. The remaining 2.4% are categorised as 'Indian/Asian', including the descendants of Indian indentured sugar estate workers and traders who came to South Africa in the mid-19th (particularly around Natal), as well as a small Chinese population of approximately 100,000 people. [ [Statistics South Africa "Mid-year population estimates, South Africa: 2007" http://www.statssa.gov.za/PublicationsHTML/P03022007/html/P03022007.html] ]

South Africa has relatively high rates of emigration (the majority of whom are White). According to OECD data, countries with a large number of South African immigrants (irrespective of naturalisation) include the United Kingdom (141,405, 2001 est), Australia (79,425, 2001 est), United States (68,290 est, 2000 est), Canada (37,680, 2001 est) and New Zealand (26,061, 2001 est). Smaller South African communities are in Portugal, Netherlands, Greece and Ireland [ [OECD Database on immigrants and expatriates http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/18/23/34792376.xls] ] .

Criticism

On May 12, 2008 a series of riots started in the township of Alexandra (in the north-eastern part of Johannesburg) when locals attacked migrants from Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, killing two people and injuring 40 others.cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7396868.stm
title=South African mob kills migrants
publisher=BBC
accessdate=2008-05-19
]

The violence spread to other townships later in the week across the Gauteng Province of South Africa with riots reported in several settlements including Diepsloot, Johannesburg central, Jeppestown, Hillbrow and others. A man was burnt to death near Reiger Park on the East Randcite web|url=http://multimedia.thetimes.co.za/photos/2008/05/flames-of-hate/|title="Flames of Hate"|accessdate=May 18|accessyear=2008] . Police had arrested more than 200 people on charges including murder, attempted murder, rape, public violence and robbery.cite web
url=http://allafrica.com/stories/200805190001.html
title=South Africa: Xenophobic Rage Leaves Trail of Havoc in Gauteng
publisher=AllAfrica.com
accessdate=2008-05-19
] Armed police used tear gas and rubber bullets to quell rioting in central Johannesburg, attacks on foreigners and looting of foreign owned shops. The violence then spread to the coastal city of Durban [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7412128.stm
title=South Africa attacks reach Durban
publisher=BBC
accessdate=2008-05-21
]

References


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