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Migration, Remittances and Development in Lesotho

Jonathan Crush, Belinda Dodson

Publication Year: 2010

The relationship between migration, development and remittances in Lesotho has been exhaustively studied for the period up to 1990. This was an era when the vast majority of migrants from Lesotho were young men working on the South African gold mines and over 50 percent of households had a migrant mineworker. Since 1990, patterns of migration to South Africa have changed dramatically. The reconfiguration of migration between the two countries has had a marked impact on remittance flows to Lesotho. The central question addressed in this report is how the change in patterns of migration from and within Lesotho since 1990 has impacted on remittance flows and usage.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright Page

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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pp. 1-3

Lesotho is one of the most migration dependent countries in the world. Migrant remittances are the country’s major source of foreign exchange, accounting for 25% of GDP in 2006. Lesotho is also one of the poorest countries in the world due to high...

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. 4-5

Lesotho is one of the most migration-dependent countries in the world. Out of a population of around two million people, over 240,000 were recently estimated to be outside the country. Migrant remittances are the country’s major source of foreign...

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METHODOLOGY

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pp. 6-7

SAMP has been systematically studying the relationship between migration, remittances and development in Southern Africa since 2000. Given the paucity of data on the subject, a multi-country research initiative on migration and remittances was launched...

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PAST MIGRATIONS

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pp. 7-10

Over the course of the twentieth century, the people of Lesotho became deeply reliant on migration to South Africa. An extensive research literature in the 1970s and 1980s showed that circular migration between Lesotho and South Africa had...

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CHANGING PATTERNS OF MIGRATION SINCE 1990

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pp. 10-26

The number of people crossing the border legally through the official border posts between Lesotho and South Africa increased dramatically after 1990, rising from 240,000 in 1991 to over 2 million in 2007. Lesotho is easily the most important source of African entrants into South Africa, sending a quarter...

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MIGRANT DESTINATIONS

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pp. 26-37

Migrants from Lesotho go almost entirely to South Africa. MARS found that 99.8% of Basotho migrants work in South Africa and the remainder are in Botswana. South Africa not only has the strongest and most diverse economy in the region, providing...

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VOLUME AND TYPE OF REMITTANCES

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pp. 38-43

Global remittances have grown to the point where they exceed Official Development Assistance (ODA) and are approaching the level of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). In Africa as a whole, the picture is rather different with ODA now exceeding FDI. Remittance...

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REMITTANCE CHANNELS

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pp. 43-46

The CDP system linking Lesotho with the South African mines is the primary formal channel for remittance flows. Outside the system, the most popular ways of remitting are informal. This is true for Lesotho and the region (Table 22). Migrants bring the money to Lesotho themselves...

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USE OF REMITTANCES

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pp. 46-51

Interviews with remittance senders and receivers suggest that the former decide how much to send and the latter make most of the decisions about how remittances will be spent. Although there are disagreements, very few respondents indicated that there is serious conflict about the...

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GENDER AND REMITTANCES

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pp. 51-60

Most striking is the great significance of migrant remittances to household subsistence and basic material needs, regardless of migrant gender. The general importance of remittances is evident in the straightforward proportion of migrant-sending households that receive money from their...

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REMITTANCES AND POVERTY REDUCTION

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pp. 60-65

Poverty continues to be the major driving force behind internal and cross-border migration in Lesotho. For most households (except the most skilled) migration remains a household survival strategy rather than a strategy for creating wealth and economic development opportunity...

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REMITTANCES AND AGRICULTURE

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pp. 65-67

Lesotho is still a predominantly rural society although urbanization is proceeding very rapidly. One reason, among many, is declining agricultural production and productivity. Cereal production reached a high of about 200 kg per person in the mid-1970s but is currently...

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REMITTANCES AND SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

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pp. 68-76

The proportion of migrant-sending households investing remittances in formal and informal business is extremely low in Lesotho. There is also no statistically significant difference between male and female migrant-sending households. This is an important point as...

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POLICY IMPLICATIONS

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pp. 76-78

There is little doubt that South Africa would never have developed into a modern industrial state without cheap migrant labour from neighbouring countries such as Lesotho. If Lesotho were ever to claim reparations for the value of labour expended and lives lost and families wrecked...

END NOTES

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pp. 79-86

MIGRATION POLICY SERIES

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pp. 87-89

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781920409425
Print-ISBN-13: 9781920409265

Page Count: 96
Publication Year: 2010