Economic and social integration of Mozambican migrants in Durban.
Nhambi, Simao Manuel.
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Economic migration has become a global trend. The movement of people and goods within and beyond territorial boundaries is a phenomenon synonymous with the twentieth century. In the Southern African region, migratory processes were accelerated by the 19th century mineral discoveries in the Cape and Transvaal. Mozambique, particularly its southern regions, was drawn into the South African- dominated economy in a service capacity, as the supplier of migrant labour, principally for the Transvaal. The mineral wealth and the development it generated made South Africa the dominant economy in the region, drawing in migrant labour from surrounding states. Today, mining activities and the Transvaal are no longer the main attraction for many Mozambicans who enter South Africa, as they have spread throughout the country since the ending of apartheid. This study is focused on Durban, where a combination of push and pull factors continues to impel Mozambicans to arrive in search of economic opportunities. The majority, who are from the rural areas of the southern provinces, without education and formal qualifications, enter South Africa illegally and without documentation. Migrants use informal networks and the informal sector, as a means of overcoming the various obstacles to entry imposed by the states on both sides of the frontier, and their inability to compete for jobs in the formal sector. Economic and social integration of Mozambicans in Durban has evolved around informality and it can be argued that if the Mozambicans in this study have achieved a certain degree of integration, this has been due to successful mobilization of resources provided by informal networks and the informal sector. Linguistic affinities and geographical proximity also play a significant role in the process. The study looks at various informal economic opportunities exploited by Mozambicans, including an expanding cross border- trade based on high mobility between the two countries. It focuses mainly on the varied ways Mozambicans in Durban achieve a degree of economic and social integration. Literature and debates on international migration and on informality lay a foundation for the approach to the study, which is based on an historical overview of migration between the two states and fieldwork in Durban and southern Mozambique.