Authors: Chux G Iwu, Rashri Baboolal & Mlamli Zenzile

Keyword: migrant workers, migrants, refugees, South Africa

SDG: SDG8

Agenda 2063: A2

Within the context of this paper, a migrant is defined as an asylum seeker, a refugee, a legal and or an illegal immigrant. Labour migration in South Africa has received little attention due to concerns with immigration, which are regarded as far more immediate and pressing. This consideration and others provide the impetus for this paper, which in the opinion of the authors adds to the growing concern over the issues of xenophobia and incidences of maltreatment of African immigrants in South Africa, especially against the background of the bold posture of South Africa’s constitution as the most promising constitution in the world. One must note that South Africa’s independence in 1994 and the prospects of a booming economy in a democratic setting unleashed a floodgate for immigration into the Republic from a variety of countries in Africa including Eastern Europe. This paper finds that despite narratives that tend to argue that migrant workers are deficiently protected in South Africa, evidence suggests that their rights within and outside of the workplace are indeed under the veil of protection by the legislation and the courts. Nonetheless, we are of the opinion that more interventions need to be in place, especially with regard to mitigating the levels of exploitation of migrant workers. This and many other recommendations have been put forward considering that migrant workers are susceptible to exploitation.