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Maternal and child migration in post-apartheid South Africa: evidence from the NIDS panel study


  • Katharine Hall

    (Children's Institute, University of Cape Town.)


Children are affected by adult migration, whether or not they themselves move. Yet little attention has been paid to patterns of child mobility and changing household contexts in South Africa, and the ways in which these relate to patterns of adult migration. Internal migration in South Africa is historically associated with the social engineering and enforced fragmentation of families that took place under apartheid. In particular, controls on population movement, together with limited residential rights in cities and other places of economic activity, restricted the ability of African families to migrate and live together, while dual housing arrangements allowed for circular movement between urban and rural homes. The term "oscillating migration" was used to describe mobility between urban and rural areas. Rather than being viewed as physically bounded and static units, households came to be viewed as straddling these nodes, both of which could include resident and non-resident members. Contrary to expectations, there was no substantial increase in permanent urban migration when the apartheid-era controls on population movement were removed (Posel 2006). Instead, temporary labour migration has remained an important livelihood strategy for many households, and extended and dual household forms have persisted.

Suggested Citation

  • Katharine Hall, 2016. "Maternal and child migration in post-apartheid South Africa: evidence from the NIDS panel study," SALDRU Working Papers 178, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:178

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Victoria Hosegood & Anne Case & Cally Ardington, 2009. "Labor Supply Responses to Large Social Transfers: Longitudinal Evidence from South Africa," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 22-48, January.
    2. Cally Ardington & Till Bärnighausen & Anne Case & Alicia Menendez, 2016. "Social Protection and Labor Market Outcomes of Youth in South Africa," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 69(2), pages 455-470, March.
    3. Sangeetha Madhavan & Enid Schatz & Samuel Clark & Mark Collinson, 2012. "Child Mobility, Maternal Status, and Household Composition in Rural South Africa," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(2), pages 699-718, May.
    4. repec:ldr:wpaper:96 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Morné Oosthuizen & Pranushka Naidoo, 2004. "Internal Migration to the Gauteng Province," Working Papers 04088, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    6. Stark, Oded & Levhari, David, 1982. "On Migration and Risk in LDCs," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 191-196, October.
    7. Lloyd Grieger & April Williamson & Murray Leibbrandt & James Levinsohn, 2014. "Evidence of short-term household change in South Africa from the National Income Dynamics Study," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 146-167, January.
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