photo of person from Lesotho the maluti mountains
lesotho
 
RELATED THEMES
economics
employment and income

OTHER LOCAL THEMES
agriculture
community activities
compensation
culture and customs
development
education
environment
environmental knowledge
family life
gender
health
history
justice and crime
land
livelihood strategies
livestock
resettlement
social change
social institutions
social relationships
spiritual beliefs

BACKGROUND
introducing the area

migration

 quotes about migration
 key testimonies featuring migration

Almost every male interviewed either worked for a time in the mines of South Africa or has close relatives who did. One narrator (Lesotho 20) explains, "Those of my age all went to the place of gold." Many who went have health problems as a result and one woman says her brother was killed working in the mines. Men migrated because of the need for cash and the desire for some independence. People talk about the time they were mining as a time when their children never went hungry. There was little choice: it was the only real opportunity to earn cash. There is no mention of anyone having permanently migrated and everyone speaks as though returning to their villages was a "given". The effect on family life, with women left to run families and farming, is known to have been considerable. Unfortunately, interviewers asked little about this aspect, not least because for some years now, the mining companies stopped recruiting labour from Lesotho and such migration has ceased.

quotes about migration

"The reasons [for going to the mines] were that I wanted to work for myself, on my own. I should work for myself and I should not expect my parents [to provide for me] so that I can be able to say: this cow is mine which I have bought for myself."
Laurent, M/47, Lesotho 8

"The reasons that took me [to the mines], I now wanted to work for myself... That is the only thing that took me there."
Moleleki, M/61, Lesotho 16

key testimonies featuring migration


  No.   Name   Sex/Age   Occupation   Location  
Summary Transcript   1   Lipholo   male/67   farmer/basketmaker   Molika-liko  
Summary Transcript   14   Mohlominyane   male/61   farmer/village headman   Maetsisa  
Summary Transcript   16   Moleleki   male/41   farmer   Maetsisa  
Summary Transcript   25   Thabo   male/   farmer   Ha Tsapane  
Summary Transcript   8   Laurent   male/47   farmer   Maetsisa  
Summary Transcript   9   íMalibuseng   female/32   farmer   Ha Tsapane