A framework for the labour market integration of female accompanying spouses in South Africa

Farirai Zinatsa, Musawenkosi D. Saurombe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Orientation: The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda highlights that migration is key to inclusive growth and economic development. For economic development to be realised, the full integration of skilled migrants into the labour market is essential. Research purpose: This research aimed at exploring the labour market experiences and self-initiated strategies of accompanying spouses, also referred to as tied migrants, in their attempt to achieve labour market integration (LMI) in South Africa. Motivation for the study: Skilled migration of tied migrants remains understudied in the Global South context. Thus, this study sought to fill this gap. Research approach/design and method: The study used a qualitative research approach to interrogate the experiences of accompanying spouses in South Africa. Thirteen one-on-one interviews were conducted, each lasting for 1.5 h on average. Thematic analysis was applied to the data. Main findings: Self-initiated strategies that reflect agency and a pushback on governing technologies by accompanying spouses can facilitate integration into the South African labour market. However, these strategies do not guarantee full LMI. The broad exclusionary context, premised on ethnicised rationalities that characterise the South African labour market, makes full LMI difficult to achieve, particularly in the absence of support for integration. Practical/managerial implications: This study makes practical contributions by making policy recommendations which consider the global agenda for women, especially concerning gender equality and empowerment. Contribution/value-add: Skilled migration in the global south remains significantly under-researched and there is evidence of significant gaps in literature particularly pertaining to migration by skilled women migrants. This research contributes to bridging this gap.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera2006
JournalSA Journal of Industrial Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • accompanying spouse
  • economic development
  • governmentality
  • labour market integration
  • self-initiated strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'A framework for the labour market integration of female accompanying spouses in South Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this