Immigrants contribute considerably to South Africa’s economy. In contrast to popular
perception, immigration is not associated with a reduction of the employment rate
of the native-born population in South Africa, and some groups of immigrants are likely
to increase employment opportunities for the native-born. In part due to the high
employment rate of the immigrant population itself, immigrants also raise the income
per capita in South Africa. In addition, immigrants have a positive impact on the
government’s fiscal balance, mostly because they tend to pay more in taxes. Policies
focused on immigrant integration and fighting discrimination would further enhance
the economic contribution of immigrants in South Africa.How Immigrants Contribute
to South Africa’s Economy is the result of a project carried out by the OECD Development
Centre and the International Labour Organization, with support from the European Union.
The project aimed to analyse several economic impacts – on the labour market, economic
growth, and public finance – of immigration in ten partner countries: Argentina, Costa
Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Rwanda, South
Africa and Thailand. The empirical evidence stems from a combination of quantitative
and qualitative analyses of secondary, and in some cases primary, data sources.