The Impact of Labor Migration on African Families in South Africa: Yesterday and Today

Smit, Ria
September 2001
Journal of Comparative Family Studies;Autumn2001, Vol. 32 Issue 4, p533
Academic Journal
The article discusses how African families in South Africa have been affected by labor migration. The concept of migrant labor involves both the temporary migration of unskilled and semi-skilled workers as well as the phenomenon of so-called "brain-drain." Labor migration may also be either internal or external in nature. These characteristics of labor migration have been evident since the beginning of the migrant labor system in South Africa. Two characteristics of the South African society had a profound impact on the nature of urbanization in this country. In the first place, it is important to note that colonialism heralded the domination of the indigenous population. In the second place ownership of land was organized in terms of racial classification.


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