Adonis Musati Project programming is evidence-based and we contribute to the academic community through research, conferences and seminars.

‘Getting angry with honest people’: The illicit market for immigrant ‘papers’ in Cape Town, South Africa

South African Department of Home Affairs (DHA) officials ‘seem to get angry with honest people’, shared a Congolese immigrant from the Kivu region who now resides in Cape Town. Some DHA officials get money through illicit transactions for ‘papers’ and they become visibly frustrated with immigrants who try to obtain documents by lawful means. This paper is based on an ethnographic research methodology and participant observation, and shows how immigration challenges South Africa’s post-apartheid, constitutionally-mandated socio-economic rights and democratic aims and has fostered an illicit market in immigrant documents. This work furthers debates on immigration governance in the global south, corruption in state institutions, and the vulnerability of immigrants.

“Don’t send your sick here to be treated, our own people need it more”: immigrants’ access to healthcare in South Africa

Asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants’ access to healthcare vary in South Africa due to unclear legal status. This article sheds light on the source of this variation—the divergence between the 1996 South African Constitution, the immigration laws, and regulations—and describes its harmful consequences. 

Viability of Peer to Peer Counselling amongst Refugees in Cape Town

South Africa remains one of the highest destination countries for asylum seekers in the world. Many of these men, women and children have fled dire situations, such as war, genocide and starvation in their countries of origin, crossing borders into South Africa, sometimes illegally and at great risk, to try and access safety and survival. Instead they are faced with xenophobia, extreme hardships, an overburdened and ineffectual immigration system and a country struggling to support and feed its own population. Added to the overwhelming social and economic burdens of these cross-border migrants, is the psychological and emotional trauma of their experiences. The World Health Organisation estimates that over 50% of refugees have mental health problems ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to chronic mental illness and that their functioning in society is greatly impaired if these problems are not addressed.