Short contracts are on the rise as multinational companies shift their people around the world.
The system is on its way out but its legacy endures - in low wages and dwindling union membership.
Critics fear President Joyce Banda's plan to beat joblessness by sending tens of thousands of Malawians to South Korea could be "modern-day slavery".
Past meets present in the underground fight against Aids.
People from SA's neighbouring countries flock here looking for work. Hundreds of thousands find it in the mining industry and in farming and tourism.
Although data surrounding labour migrants varies it is clear that apartheid-era patterns persist, writes Lisa Steyn.