Background of the study: COVID-19 nationwide lockdown in South Africa has disrupted nearly all aspects of youth development. The COVID-19 nationwide lockdown crisis impacted youth migrants severely. The effect of COVID-19 on the youth has gained increasing scholarly attention; however, little has been done to address the circumstances of youth migrants.
Purpose of the study: The study seeks to examine the effects of the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown on migrant youths living in rural parts of South Africa.
Methodology: The present study used a qualitative research method, and purposive sampling to sample 20 youth migrants between the ages of 18 and 24 years.
Findings: The study findings revealed that youth migrants had trouble in providing for their basic needs since they could not do piece jobs due to the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown.
Originality/value: This study calls for the development of a youth migration policy in South Africa that will promote youth migrant human rights and outline key strategies that the government should take to support youth migrants as a vulnerable group.
Keywords: COVID-19, risks, youth migrants, migration, nationwide lockdown.