Alan Hirsch explores migration policy reform in The Conversation


The New South Institute (NSI) is pleased to announce the publication of an opinion piece by Alan Hirsch, Director of the Migration Governance Reform in Africa Program (MIGRA), featured in The Conversation. This article is integral to the outreach for our most recent MIGRA series report, “South Africa Country Study: Migration Trends, Policy, Implementation, and Outcomes.”

Within the piece, Hirsch tackles the critical issue of managing migration in South Africa, highlighting the Department of Home Affairs’ operational failures. He outlines systemic issues such as legal disputes, inefficiencies, and corruption that have obstructed the effective execution of migration policies.

His critique draws from recent probes into the Department of Home Affairs, uncovering major flaws in visa, permit, and immigration status management. Hirsch advocates for comprehensive reform of the migration policy framework, suggesting modernization of laws to support regular migration and diminish irregularities.

The article offers solutions for enhancing the operations of the Department of Home Affairs, based on the insights of two thorough reports. These include significant investments in information technology, database integration, and stronger anti-corruption measures.

The Migration Governance Reform in Africa Program (MIGRA), facilitated by the NSI, aims to improve understanding and reform of migration governance across Africa. Through a sequence of in-depth reports, MIGRA explores the intricacies of migration, providing insights and policy guidance.

Initiated with a foundational report by Alan Hirsch in 2023, the program meticulously examines the intersection of migration, development, and integration in Africa. A subsequent report by Michael Mutava broadens this examination to include the continent’s economic motivations and labor migration trends.

The most recent report, “South Africa Country Study,” narrows the focus to South Africa’s migration dynamics and policy effects. This contribution, alongside its predecessors, deepens the discourse on migration challenges, affirming NSI’s dedication to driving informed and practical governance reforms in Africa. MIGRA’s efforts aim to positively shape policy debates and solutions, with an emphasis on the economic and societal aspects of migration.

We invite our readers to engage with Alan Hirsch’s comprehensive article on The Conversation for an in-depth understanding of the identified challenges and proposed solutions. We also encourage accessing the “South Africa Country Study” report on the NSI website, offering expansive insights into the discussed issues.

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