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Urban/rural migration: exploring the motivating factors of people involved and their perceptions related to migration in Matshana community in KwaZulu-Natal.

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This study examined the arrival and settlement of recent urban migrants in Matshana area, who are classified as retired migrants, labour migrants, and permanent or temporal migrants. They also divided into two groups, which are new arrival urban migrants and returned urban migrants. The increasing expansion of urban migrants in Matshana has led the researcher to explore the migrants’ motives and perceptions of urban-to-rural migration, withMatshana community in Kwazulu-Natal as the case study. The study focused on people involved1 within areas of urban-rural migration patterns. The study employed the qualitative research approach and utilized focus group discussions and in-depth interviews as the main methods of data collection. This allowed the researcher to interact with key community members, newly settled residents, and local ward committee representatives, in an endeavor to investigate the challenges and opportunities that migrants encounter in Matshana community. The study used a non-random sampling procedure and a sample of 15 participants, consisting of nine females and six males, was selected. The migrant network effect2 formed in Matshana suggests strong family ties, cultural meanings, inheritance of land, and emerging housing market in rural areas. The study established that ‘Ama- Site3’ characterized the type of new urban houses/areas in Matshana community. The study also established that there are potential gains and challenges in moving to rural areas, both for urban migrants and the local people. The study community is characterised by a transition from a rural area to a township or ‘urban-rural area4’. This study suggested this type of urban-to-rural migration in Matshana as the primary factor for social change through migration witnessed in Matshana community.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.