Experiences of male migrant labourers at Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife.
Hlanga, Thubalakhe Madimetja.
MetadataShow full item record
The literature on male migrant workers indicates that the migrant labour system has a negative impact on the stability and well-being of the family, including children. For instance children coming from households with absent fathers are likely to experience behavioral problems and poor performance at school. (Ratele, 2012; Nyanjaha and Masango, 2012). Noticeable, in rural areas of developing countries, there are socio-economic benefits associated with migration and it could be a survival strategy within the household. Internal migration is a common pattern in South Africa where people migrate from rural to urban areas in search for work. Most of the literature on migrant labour in South Africa is located within the Mining and Agricultural sector. There is little or no research that has been conducted within the sector of Nature Conservation sector where most of the employees reside within the workplace which is often far from their household. The study aims to understand the experiences of the male labour migrants employed at EZEMVELO KWAZULU-NATAL WILDLIFE (EKZNW). Using a qualitative research paradigm, In-depth semi-structured interviews as well as focus group discussions were held with 15 workers employed by EKZNW and all the participants were recruited using purposive and snow ball sampling. Social constructionism theory was used as the theoretical lens to better understand the experiences of labour migrants. The study indicated that whilst the socio-economic benefits associated with the financial security of the migrants was evident, working away from the family created unintended consequences for workers and their families. Following these findings, the recommendations include improvements that need to be made by the social work practitioners in dealing with their clientele. Policies and programmes should be formulated to create an environment that promotes and support educational activities for staff. Tension between employees and local communities could be addressed by strengthening existing relationships with communities through local community leaders. Further research is required to obtain a broader understanding of the lives of migrant workers, by including significant others, which can also include supervisors. A similar study could be undertaken across the country at other nature conservation agencies as views and experiences at other sites could differ.