Migration and Migrants Entrepreneurial Skills in South Africa: Assets or Liabilities?

Vivence Kalitanyi, Kobus Visser


Cape Town’s CBD, as well as many of its suburbs, is a location that hosts many immigrant entrepreneurs. An empirical research was conducted in these areas to determine the impact of those immigrant entrepreneurs with regards to the transmission of entrepreneurial skills to local citizens. Literature on migration and its consequences was reviewed. A questionnaire as a research instrument was drawn up and pilot-tested. A sample of 120 immigrants was used, and face-to-face interviews were conducted. Findings revealed that more than 73% of immigrant entrepreneurs transmit their entrepreneurial skills to locals who are either employed by them or do business with them. The study also revealed that 82% of the immigrant entrepreneurs’ employees are locals, of whom 54% have ascertained to have acquired entrepreneurial skills from their employers. The study was conducted only in Cape Town and some of its suburbs, and therefore does not represent the general trend in the whole country. Furthermore, the study involved only those immigrants from the African continent. The overall result is an acknowledgment of the contribution that foreigners are making on skills development and to the country’s growth. In conclusion, recommendations relevant to policy change on South African immigration law are made, as well as suggestions offered for government intervention in teaching tolerance and peaceful cohabitation between foreigners and locals.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n14p147

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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