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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

                                                                            Copyright © 2009 International Development Options

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Volume Five                                                                   Winter 2008-Spring 2009                                                              Numbers 3-4.

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     THEME: GLOBAL LABOR MIGRATION AND EMERGING TRENDS IN DEVELOPMENT FINANCING:

     AN ASSESSMENT OF THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPCT OF MIGRANT (WORKER) REMITTANCES

     IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

 

 

       REMITTING FOR SURVIVAL: RETHINKING THE DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL OF REMITTANCES IN

     SOUTHERN AFRICA

 

       Jonathan Crush                                                 Wade Pendleton

      Global Development Studies                            Department of Anthropology

      Queen’s University, Canada                             University of Cape Town

      and Honorary Professor                                    South Africa

      University of Cape Town

 

       Published Online: March 15, 2017

 

 

       ABSTRACT

 

Central to the current international debate on migration and development is the issue of remittances.  Two conventional schools of thought can be identified: one arguing that the developmental value of remittances is limited and the other that remittances are the key to unlocking the development value of migration.  An alternative perspective has recently emerged which suggests that the development impact of remittances can be maximized through various kinds of policy intervention.  This article, based on the results of a survey of five SADC countries, suggests that while remittance-receiving households are generally better off than those that are not, remittance use in Southern Africa is dominated by livelihood needs such as food purchase.  Very little of the remittance package is saved, invested or used to boost agricultural production (the conventional development markers).  Nor is it spent on luxuries such as consumer goods. While remittances may help alleviate poverty they do not, at present, form the basis for sustainable development at the household level. In this context, conventional policy interventions are unlikely to enhance the development value of remittances. 

 

 

IDO        ISSN: 1093-8281                 Copyright © 2017 International Development Options

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