Socially Embedded Character of Informal Channels of Remittances: ‘Omalayisha’ in the South Africa/Zimbabwe Remittance Corridor

Authors

  • Vusilizwe Thebe Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Pretoria
  • Sara Mutyatyu Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Pretoria

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.33182/rr.v2i1.434

Keywords:

Migrants, omalayisha, remittances, socially embedded, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Abstract

In this article, we cast some doubts on contemporary initiatives to formalise remittance channels by focusing on particular dynamics of the informal ‘malayisha’ system on the South Africa/Zimbabwe remittance corridor. We stress the socially embedded character of ‘omalayisha’ in some rural societies by demonstrating that the system is built on strong social and community relations of friendship, neighbourhood, kinship and referrals, and the development of strategic networks of state officials. We also seek to draw parallels between the historical movement of remittances from the cities to rural societies and the contemporary system of ‘omalayisha’. Our argument suggest that ‘omalayisha’ are inherently part of the contemporary worker-peasant economy after the relocation and expansion of urban livelihoods to South African cities, and that their position in these societies extends beyond mere labour reproduction to accumulation and survival questions.

Author Biographies

Vusilizwe Thebe, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Pretoria

Vusilizwe Thebe is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Coordinator for the Development Studies programme in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology of the University of Pretoria.

Sara Mutyatyu, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Pretoria

Sara Mutyatyu, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Pretoria, P. Bag X20, Hatfield, 0028, Pretoria, South Africa.

Published

2017-05-01

How to Cite

Thebe, V., & Mutyatyu, S. (2017). Socially Embedded Character of Informal Channels of Remittances: ‘Omalayisha’ in the South Africa/Zimbabwe Remittance Corridor. Remittances Review, 2(1), 5-22. https://doi.org/10.33182/rr.v2i1.434

Issue

Section

Articles