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Restless minds: South African students and the brain drain

Year: 2010
Author: Mniki, Namhla
Unit: DARU
Book title: Surviving on the move: Migration, Poverty and Development in Southern Africa
Pages: 25-49
ISBN: 978-1-920409-09-8
Editor(s): Jonathan Crush and Bruce Frayne
Publisher: Idasa

Since the collapse of apartheid, there have been major increases in migration flows within, to and from the Southern African region. Cross-border movements are at an all-time high across the region and internal migration is at record levels. The implications of greater mobility for areas of origin and destination have not been systematically explored. Migration is most often seen as a negative phenomenon, a result of increased poverty and the failure of development.

This publication, which is based on primary research, examines the relationship between migration, poverty and development, including issues that are often ignored in the migration-development debate like migration and food security and migration and vulnerability to HIV. The book argues that the development and poverty reduction potential of migration is being hindered by national policies that fail to recognise and build on the positive aspects and potential of migration.

This book shows migrants are often pushed to the margins where they are forced to "survive on the move." Their treatment violates labour laws and basic human rights and compromises the potential of migration as a means to create sustainable livelihoods, reduce poverty and food insecurity, mitigate the brain drain and promote the productive use of remittances. This book shows that migrant lives and livelihoods should be at the centre of international and African debates about migration, poverty and development.