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Southern Africa: internal migration

Migration A–Z


  1. Loren B. Landau and Aurelia Segatti

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm507

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Segatti, L. B. L. a. A. 2013. Southern Africa: internal migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Contemporary patterns of migration within and across Southern Africa's political borders have a history dating back to the mid-19th century. Even before the colonial occupation, movements were shaped by pastoral lifestyles and the quest for improved profits or protection from violence, poverty, and pestilence. Following the massive dislocations of the colonial era and the highly structured migrant-labor system, regular movements within and across political boundaries became integral to household, national, and regional economies (Posel 1991). While internal and international migration within the region continues to be partially shaped by these antecedents, globalization, shifting gender dynamics, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, urbanization and metropolization, the decline of rural agriculture, the resolution of ongoing conflicts, and the emergence of new forms of violence and persecution have created a highly mobile region.


  • labor;
  • labor supply;
  • race;
  • racism;
  • capitalism