Narratives around various categories of mobile people continue to be deeply divisive and highly contested. Added to this, new Directives have recently emerged, especially from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), raising the qualification barriers for permanent residence status. Failures across a range of routine responsibilities have rendered many mobile people unnecessarily vulnerable. The suspension of the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP) and the tightening up of processes for holders of critical skills for permanent residence, as well as political discourses from several parties, all make the same point around exclusion. The overall picture, even if implicitly, places the blame for some social ills on migrants. This creates a feeling of vulnerability among them, and engenders an atmosphere conducive to xenophobic discourses and actions. The first article speaks of South Africa’s treatment of foreigners as a new low in our political environment.
Refugee Digest 63 Refugees, Migrants & Displaced Persons by Peter-John Pearson