Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 September 2020
This volume is the outcome of a seminar on issues relating to changing patterns of population mobility and settlement in southern Africa. The seminar was held in January 1996 at the Grahamstown campus of Rhodes University in South Africa, and was arranged jointly by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Rhodes University and the International African Institute. We have organised the order of the chapters in the book, as well as our discussion of them, in terms of the broad thematic sequence of population mobility, settlement and policy implications.
THE NEED FOR A NEW APPROACH
Tt is now widely conceded that human movement is definitive of social life more often than it is exceptional in the contemporary world’ (Appadurai 1995: 215). One might add that this is especially so in what is broadly known as the Third World, where political instability and its correlate of weak states often result in governments resorting to violence to achieve obedience from their citizens (Migdal 1988: ch. 1). In addition to widespread circular labour migration, urbanisation and movement within urban areas, in Africa as a whole, over the last half century or so, more than fifty million people have been uprooted, as shown in Table 1.1.
In southern Africa, such widespread human movement has been occasioned by economic forces (including widespread migrant labour to the mines and the urban areas), environmental pressures (such as the harsh droughts of the 1980s), political policies (notably apartheid in South Africa, socialist-based villagisation policies in Mozambique, and security villages in Angola and the then Rhodesia during the wars of decolonisation) and flight from the oppression and civil war in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Some of the more prominent instances of population movement in southern Africa have been:
ANGOLA. Between 1961 and 1972 approximately 700,000 people were moved into concentrated settlements for purposes of military security during the Angolan war of liberation against the Portuguese (Niddrie 1974: 56-7, 76). During the period 1961 to 1992 the average number of Angolan refugees in Zaire was 315,932, peaking at 620,000 in 1978, while during the period 1966 to 1992 the average number of Angolan refugees in Zambia was 48,604, peaking at 102,500 in 1991 (Hansen this volume).
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