Migration from Malawi to South Africa: A Historical and Cultural Novel

Migration from Malawi to South Africa: A Historical and Cultural Novel

by Harvey C. Banda


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Since the discovery and exploitation of minerals like gold, diamond and copper in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Malawi has played the role of a labour supplier. Malawians were attracted by the relatively higher wages obtaining in the South African mines up to the period of the decline in mine migrancy at the end of the 1980s. Following this decline, a cross-section of Malawians continued to emigrate to South Africa to seek various jobs in the burgeoning informal sector and also for trade purposes. Migration from Malawi to South Africa sheds light on the problems that labour migrants and traders encounter as they are ‘toing’ and ‘froing’ between Malawi and South Africa in pursuit of their respective goals. It shows that migration, which initially was exclusively done for wage employment, is becoming more complex by the day. This is a result of the infusion of elements of commercial migration, smuggling and human trafficking. The book advances the argument that the numbers of migrants to South Africa increased in the post-1994 period partly as a result of mal-administration by the successive democratically-elected governments in Malawi. This development weakened Malawi’s otherwise promising economy and impoverished the rural masses. The book ‘sees’ forlorn hope in the future of labour migrants and traders, unless the Malawi Government starts to genuinely have the welfare of the populace at heart! The book is relevant and accessible to policy-makers, university and college students interested in migration studies, general readers and migrants, themselves

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789956763955
Publisher: African Books Collective Limited
Publication date: 12/16/2017
Pages: 152
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.33(d)

About the Author

Harvey C. Chidoba Banda was born in 1975 and hails from Mzimba District in northern Malawi. He is a Lecturer in the Department of History at Mzuzu University in Malawi. His research interests are in gendered migrations and international labour migration history between Malawi and South Africa since the 1860s. He is also author of two books: Vidokoni: Folktales from Mzimba, Malawi (2016) and Perspectives of Labour Migration from Mzimba District, Malawi, to South Africa (2017). Harvey is married to Jennifer Luhanga and they have one son, Owen.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: An Overview of Labour Migration from Malawi

Chapter Two: Of Migrants’ Journeys: Traders’ and Labour Migrants’ Experiences

Chapter Three: Institutionalized Corruption

Chapter Four: Of Migrants’ and Traders’ Stay in South Africa

Chapter Five: Of Malawian Culture Abroad

Chapter Six: The Failed Role of the State

Chapter Seven: Conclusion

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