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Migration in the GCR

  • Ongoing
  • Dr Sally Peberdy

Gauteng is the primary destination of internal migrants as well as international migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. Many people born in Gauteng are also migrants, moving from one part of the province to another. Most debates around migration focus on cross border migrants with less attention being paid to internal migrants who constitute a larger proportion of the population of the province.

The start of 2015 saw a wave of xenophobic attacks on foreign entrepreneurs and other international migrants in the province. There is also anecdotal evidence of increasing tension between long-standing residents of the province and new internal migrants.

This research project will seek to answer a series of research questions drawing on QoL 2011, 2013 and 2015 data, as well as Census 2011 data and key interviews:

  • What are the patterns of internal migration in the GCR?
  • Who are internal migrants and where are they?
  • What is the impact of new internal migration on social cohesion in the GCR?
  • What attitudes do long-standing residents of the GCR have towards new internal migrants?
  • What is the impact of new patterns of cross border migration and settlement on social cohesion in the GCR?
  • Is there any relationship between new internal migration and sites of high rates of xenophobic attitudes?
  • What roles do gender and sex play in attitudes to internal and cross border migrants?


Peberdy, S. 2016. 'The state, nationhood, belonging, exclusion and business in South Africa,' paper presented at the 16th International Association for the Study of Forced Migration, Poznan Poland, 12-15 July 2016, as part of a panel on Perspectives on Policies of Inclusion and Exclusion.

Invited to participate in various forums hosted by the Department of Home Affairs, universities and civil society as well as various European embassies to discuss the development of South Africa's immigration and refugee policies and legislation.

Support to the Gauteng Provincial Government Eminent Persons Group on Social Cohesion and Nation Building.


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