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Title:From South Africa with love: the 'malayisha' system and Ndebele housholds' quest for livelihood reconstruction in south-western Zimbabwe
Author:Thebe, Vusilizwe
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies (ISSN 0022-278X)
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
South Africa
Ndebele (Zimbabwe)
goods transport
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/41474950
Abstract:In the 1980s and early 1990s, sending remittances to Zimbabwe from South Africa posed major challenges for Ndebele migrants. As a result households receiving remittances only did so at irregular intervals. With increased diasporization into South Africa, it was to be expected that new channels would open up. This article explores what is known as the 'malayisha' system, its role and significance as an informal channel of remittances into Ndebele society. It argues that the system bridged the geographical gap between Matabeleland and Johannesburg, averting food insecurity and poverty for semi-proletarian households in Matabeleland. By facilitating the movement of goods and people between Matabeleland and South Africa, the system became instrumental in the quest of households to reconstruct their livelihoods after the destruction of their ruralurban-based livelihoods in Zimbabwe due to perennial droughts and ESAP. As a result, the services of 'omalayisha' (cross-border transporters) are highly sought after, by both the migrant community in South Africa and households in Matabeleland. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]