African Migrants’ Characteristics and Remittance Behaviour: Empirical Evidence from Cape Town in South

  • Jonas Nzabamwita University of the Western Cape
Keywords: African migrants, Refugees, Asylum seekers, Migration, Remittances, South Africa


South Africa experienced an increase in the number of mixed categories of migrants from the African continent. Central to these migrants is the issue of their remittances. Using remittance motives in a prospect theoretical framing, this paper presents the findings of a study that explored remittance patterns and behaviour along a range of migrants’ characteristics. The data are premised on questionnaires, interviews and focus groups with migrants from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Somalia and Zimbabwe who live in Cape Town, South Africa. The results show that economic migrants remit cash and goods more frequently, while forced migrants remit more both socially and in terms of the value of cash and goods. In addition, income, education and family size are significantly associated with remittance behaviour in respect to the amount of cash remitted as well as value of goods. Furthermore, there is a strong correlation between the type of remittance channels and income, education and immigration status.

Author Biography

Jonas Nzabamwita, University of the Western Cape

PhD Candidate in Development Studies, Institute for Social Development, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape, South Africa