In becoming the world’s most promising emerging market, a White Paper on International Migration was drafted to establish the principles which will guide the formulation of a new migration policy for South Africa.
It is a known fact that in the global economy today, economic growth and competitiveness is increasingly determined by high-level skills inputs, the value-added by innovations in management, production systems and technological innovation, and the levels of entrepreneurship and new risk ventures.
The White Paper recognises that the challenge for the country is to formulate policy that takes advantage of the positive aspects of globalisation, including the unprecedented movement of people with skills, expertise, resources, entrepreneurship and capital.
The White Paper’s approach is fundamentally flawed. There is a failure to recognise the impact of the AIDS crisis on South Africa’s skilled workforce, compounded by the exodus of skilled people draining the country’s human resource pool, which raises concerns about what more is excluded in the narrow policy parameters established by the White Paper.
For South Africa to maximise its national interests through migration, the government must acknowledge the depth of the skills crises and establish a migration policy premised on opening its doors to skilled migration, strengthening the Immigration Board, and establishing clear rules for administrative decisions and unambiguous policies.