An exploratory study of the social and economic experiences of Zimbabwean youth immigrants in Cape Town

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This study explored the experiences of Zimbabwean youth when they migrate to Cape Town and the impact of this migration on Zimbabwe's social development. The immigrants in Cape Town, in Khayelitsha and Summer Greens were interviewed. The study was carried out with a sample of seventeen immigrants. It adopted a qualitative, exploratory approach using a semi-structured interview schedule for face-to-face interviews with the immigrants. Snowball sampling was used in this study. Since a large number of people are migrating from Zimbabwe to South Africa, this study was motivated to discover the reasons behind the migration trends. As a Zimbabwean, I wanted to understand what my fellow people are experiencing and have better knowledge of their situations. The findings revealed the following: The absence of convincing answers to the challenging questions about the Zimbabwean situation highlights a lack of realism and failure of leadership within South Africa on the crucial issues of regional migration. There has been an increase in pressure on public services, difficulties in social integration, unemployment and xenophobia. It is not possible to draw any hard conclusions as to how representative this group of respondents is in terms of the general population of Zimbabweans currently in South Africa. As such, it is not possible to make simple extrapolations from this data in relation to the estimated one million plus Zimbabweans that are currently believed to be in South Africa. The main recommendations emerging from this study are: There is need to support the establishment of an institutional and legal framework for the development and implementation of a national strategy for migration and development. A well-managed immigration policy that facilitates and one that is open to contribution, by the public, thus making migration issues more people-centered by having a platform whereby immigrants can present their sentiments is needed. It is essential that every aspect of migration issues; humanitarian, emergency, economic and political should be managed with the decisiveness and effectiveness that brings public confidence.