This article examines temporary labor migration from five countries to South Africa’s mines. The author extends the analysis of labor withdrawal from agriculture to embrace long-term effects. What has been neglected is the possibility that earnings of migrants may serve as a source of capital accumulation in the rural areas. Emigration (a) diminishes domestic crop production in the short run; (b) enhances crop productivity and cattle accumulation through invested remittances in the long run; (c) increases domestic plantation wages. In both Malawi and Mozambique, emigration to South Africa’s mines significantly inflated labor costs to the local estate and plantation operators. This points at the conflicting interests between employers in the sending countries and in the mines.

Publication Details

Emigration to South-Africa’s Mines
Lucas, Robert E.B.
Publish Date
Lucas, Robert E.B., Emigration to South-Africa’s Mines (, 1987).