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What impact and advantages do foreigners have on the hosting country?

01 Sep 2019 at 15:18hrs | Views
From time immemorial, people have been on the move, from one country to the other.The reasons for movement have always varied. Some movements have been short term, some medium and yet others have been permanent.

In this article, Mthwakazi Institute of Research reports on its findings on the impact and advantages that come with such movements and settlements of foreign nationals in any country, they whether short term, medium or long term.
This follows the xenophobic attacks that have almost become an event of every five year term in South Africa and something that has took away tens of lives each time it happened. The case study to answer the question was conducted in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana, while Mthwakazi people were a major focus especially in South Africa. The study shows that the influx of foreign nationals any country is not as bad as locals of that particular country may think of them and it may not be as good as they (foreigners) may think of it to be.
The influx of foreign nationals in a country erodes the good relations of citizens of that particular country with their government especially in countries where citizens are dependent on their governments for things that like proposing love, that does not require joining hands with anyone, or a united front's approach. Governments sheltering a lot of foreign nationals spend a lot to cater for basic needs of all people within their borders, that range from policing, healthcare, education which according to the United Nations, are a right to all people world over, regardless their nationality or citizenship and should not be deprived to any person on basis of nationality or citizenship. The affected governments lose total grip or control of the employment sector which benefits largely on foreign national. They (governments) fail to control the hiking of utilities such as rentals, as landlords strive to make fortunes out the desperate situation of foreign nationals, which in turn becomes limits the usage of such facilities by proud citizens who feel robbed of their right of access to them by high utility rates.

As a result, governments are put at loggerheads with their people leading sometimes to calls of regime change by citizens and in fear of such governments are forced to look aside while foreign nationals are attacked and killed on xenophobic grounds.
The study further shows the infrastructure developmental difference in African countries that come with the accepting of (on permanent basis), barring of and accepting of foreign nationals on basis of exploiting them.

In the case of Zimbabwe, dating back to the colonial era, Rhodesia and then Zimbabwe has had influxes of foreign nationals on basis of economic  and political instability refuge seekers from Malawi and Mozambique respectively. The policies of both the Apartheid and Black man regime have been based on permanent integration of the foreign nationals into communities and systems of the "country". In so doing the foreign nationals were entitled to all benefits that entitled to the original citizens. That increased both governments' budgets to points of limiting infrastructure development. Foreign nationals at all age groups got quality healthcare attention for free. Like those of original citizens, Children of foreign nationals, spent quality and fruitful seven years in primary education in any government schoo, their parents so desired. During the apartheid era, Malawian nationals flooded Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in search of greener pastures. The regime of that time received them and assimilated them into the systems of the country and until this day they own properties in area like eMabuthweni, Njube, Makokoba, Railways etc, in Bulawayo and Courial in Hwange. Mozambican refugees come mainly into picture, providing for a lengthy rule of Zimbabwe by ZANU-PF, due to its foreigners integration policy. In the mid 80s, Mozambican people fled the war ravaged Southern African country into the neighbouring Zimbabwe for refuge. Their number ran at about 59 000 people and were temporarily housed at Tongogara Refugee Camp, while ZANU was still strategising  stamp and maintain its power grip using them. It granted them with voting rights and infused them in large numbers into Mashonaland communities and state systems. Until this day they have remained permanently in the country entitled to all benefits befitting the original citizens of the economic ailing Zimbabwe, paying unbreakable allegiance to the regime. That has had a permanent negative impact on the locals, as they have failed over the years to remove ZANU.

In Botswana, the study shows that Botswana laws have never been accommodative to foreign nationals no matter what are circumstances in fellow African countries. During the times of de-colonisation of Africa, was one of a few countries that were first to gain their independence from White colonisers, which meant that the rest of African countries who were still colonies, looked upon them for shelter of their  persecuted leaders and military recruits as well as for material support. Unfortunately, due to that country's naive approach to the issue of foreign nationals, they would sometimes arrest those needy neighbours, deport them back to their countries or to Zambia whose President Kenneth Kaunda had taken a bold stand to help fellow Africans, free themselves. The same still applies today where Botswana laws does not take shame in deporting back to Zimbabwe an 80year old who had lived in that country since his youthful days and a limbless young man while his limbs remain buried somewhere in their country after he had been fatally shot by his employer over the disputed wages. Their laws have however managed to keep that country's economy afloat back dating to the time Botswana gained her independence in 1966, although there is limitations in notable economic development.

Like any other great economies of this world, South Africa has since the new dawn of democracy in 1994 been hit by massive inroads of foreign nationals mainly from around Africa and Asia, in search of greener pastures.
In dire need to curb a such inroads that promote xenophobia, the government has introduced several measures such as The Aliens Control Amendment Act
(ACAA) in 1995, the Green Paper on International
Migration in 1997, the White Paper on International Migration in 1999,  and the
Immigration Bill in 2002.

All these documents are a clear indication of how much the government has been and continues to battle to shut out foreign nationals but without luck as foreign nationals are more favoured by the employment sector that exploits them heavily for it to boom.

To answer the question, how much impact or advantage do foreign nationals have in any country, Mthwakazi Institute of Research conducted a study in 10 skyscraper buildings (building names withheld) and 30 retail shops in Johannesburg. The shortest building was a 17 storey building with 14 units of one bedroom apartments per floor, while the tallest was a 54  storey building. All 10 skyscrapers had about 90% of its residents being of foreign nationality. Per one bedroom flat, the rental is around R5000 exclusive of water and electricity which is at R550 and R1600 respectively, yet in townships electricity bills range from R250.00 to R400.00 and water is free.

In total, per floor, landlords make scores of R100 100.00 while they make R2 702 700.00 per shortest building. In an interview with MIOR, one building caretaker did not shy away from telling it straight that the rentals, electricity and water rates were so high because the buildings were occupied by foreign nationals and for that reason the government cannot intervene and regulate the rates. The study continued in retail shops where we visited 27 clothing shops and 3 grocery supermarkets. In all 27 clothing shops, there were about 2-3 foreign nationals employed to call shoppers into the shop. The most expensive items in those shops were men' suits which cost about R999.00. On a quiet day, such shops made not less than R20 000.00 but go on to pay their staff R500.00 per week. This is according to the information we got from one shop staff member. The study further unearthed that foreign nationals made huge grocery shoppings compared to local citizens. " In year 2000, the department of home affairs led by the late minister Steve Tswete tightened its grip on foreign nationals and in just one week, we were contemplating to close down our operations around Hillbrow and Yeoville. Our sales dropped badly," cried a manager of one large supermarket.

In a nutshell, countries that welcome and exploit foreign nationals, laugh louder than the needy and vulnerable foreign nationals

Mthwakazi Institute of Research can be contacted on

Source - MOIR
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