The experiences of immigrants in South Africa : a case study of Ethiopians in Durban.
Migration from non-SADe countries to South Africa has become the new trend of population movement in Southem Africa. This research was conducted with Ethiopian immigrants in Durban in an attempt to shed some insights into this new nexus. The aim of the study was to understand the experiences of Ethiopian immigrants before, during and after their migration. In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 Ethiopian immigrants in South Africa. The decision to migrate was mainly motivated by economic reasons. There were many contributing fac tors in making the decision to migrate. These included social networks, cost of travel, accessibility and availability of opportunities in South Africa. Ethiopian immigrants have used different travel routes and entry points to enter South Africa, both legally and illegally. They selected Durban as their destination city because of the availability of economic opportunities and the relatively less bureaucracy in government offices compared to other cities. Various literatures suggest that immigrants in South Africa and other parts of the world share the experiences of Ethiopian immigrants in South Africa in many ways. The findings of this research suggest that most Ethiopian immigrants in South Africa are involved in the informal economic sector. The target of their economic activities is mainly South Africans in the townships and Ethiopian immigrants themselves. This research also found that Ethiopian immigrants have not integrated with the local community. The study further explains some of the challenges Ethiopian immigrants face during their travel and stay in South Africa. Most of the Ethiopian immigrants stated that they do not intend to stay in South Africa for long. Most of them plan to go to economically more affluent countries like the United States of America.