Getting to know the Amakwerre-kwerre: the socioeconomic circumstances of Zimbabwean day labourers in South Africa
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Over the past decade, in the face of volatile economic conditions at home, there has been an influx of Zimbabweans into South Africa looking for work and a better life. Many of these jobseekers have moved into the day labourer market, offering their services on street corners and other pickup points in the main metropolitan areas. While their working and living conditions leave much to be desired and their pay is very uncertain, Zimbabwean day labourers – with better education – often are the preferred candidates for the limited jobs on offer and earn more than their counterparts in South Africa. Not surprisingly, South African day labourers often resent Zimbabwean workers in the country. This study is the first of its kind in that it delves into the hopes, fears and daily routines of Zimbabwean day labourers, and offers new perspectives on this important economic segment.