Malawians Make the Choice between Safety or Poverty

About 75 of the Malawians displaced by recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa have returned home. Malawi’s government repatriated them last week, after they spent weeks at a guarded camp in Johannesburg.  Some say they will never go back to South Africa.  Others are not so sure. The World Bank says more than half of Malawi’s population lives below the poverty line, and about a quarter of them survive on less than two dollars a day. For many, migrating to South Africa as a domestic laborer is their only option to escape poverty. That fact appears to have prompted some Malawians to remain in South Africa, despite threats to their safety. The Malawi Red Cross Society, which provided temporary shelters for the repatriated victims, says it will continue to assist them as they reintegrate into Malawian society.


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