Three UKZN academics contributed chapters to and edited a book titled Crisis, Identity and Migration in Post-Colonial Southern Africa.

They are Dean and Head of the School of Built Environment and Development Studies Professor Ernest KhalemaDr Hangwelani Magidimisha-Chipungu; and Dr Lovemore Chipungu.

This book offers a socio-historical analysis of migration and the possibilities of regional integration in Southern Africa. It examines both the historical roots of and contemporary challenges regarding the social, economic, and geo-political causes of migration and its consequences (ie xenophobia) to illustrate how “diaspora” migrations have shaped a sense of identity, citizenry, and belonging in the region. 

‘The current crisis facing migrants globally has shed new light on the plight of what African migrants have experienced for decades where millions of desperate people flee poverty, oppression and unprecedented violence, giving up their livelihoods, abandoning indigenous lands and searching for peace, security and international protection,’ said Khalema.

‘For the region of Southern Africa, migration remains a historical and contemporary rule rather than the exception of human behaviour,’ added Chipungu.

‘What is clear is that an overwhelming number of people have historically migrated and continue to migrate across borders in search of better economic opportunities, social security and safety,’ said Magidimisa-Chipungu.

By discussing immigration policies and processes and highlighting how the struggle for belonging is mediated by new pressures concerning economic security, social inequality and globalist challenges, the book develops policy responses to the challenge of social and economic exclusion as well as xenophobic violence in southern Africa. 

This timely and highly informative book should appeal to all scholars, activists, and policy-makers looking to revisit migration policies and realign them with current globalisation and regional integration trends.

Words: Melissa Mungroo  

Photograph: Lindiwe Nhlapho