MORE than half of emigrants sent remittances to their families in Zimbabwe, a new survey by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) has shown.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
According to its Inter-Censal Demographic Survey (ICDS) of 2017, Zimstat said the majority of emigrants sent $101 to $500.
“Remittances covered under this section refer to cash or monetary value of goods sent to usual households by the emigrants. An emigrant could have remitted money or goods to other households in Zimbabwe, however, these were not considered in the survey.
52% of the emigrants had, during the past 12 months sent remittances to their households in Zimbabwe, where they had been usual members prior to emigration,” Zimstat said.
“The majority of emigrants (21%) sent remittances ranging in amounts from $101 to $500 while 17% of the emigrants had remitted amounts ranging from $1 to $100 and 9% had remitted between $501 to $1 000 and only 4% of the emigrants sent home between $1 001 to $5 000 in the past 12 months.”
The report found that 19% of all households enumerated during the ICDS 2017 survey were classified as migrant households with at least one emigrant.
“Sixty-two percent of all emigrants are male, while 38% are female. Close to 70% of all emigrants had completed secondary level education prior to their departure from Zimbabwe.
The survey showed that the bulk of the emigrants was from Matabeleland South province.
The survey found that geographical proximity is one of the major factors in deciding the country of destination for emigrants.
In that regard, the data provided for by ICDS 2017 shows that South Africa is still the major destination for Zimbabwean emigrants.
Foreign currency remittances are the second largest source of forex in the country after exports. These remittances contributed to the $5,5 billion in total foreign currency receipts from 2017.
Last August, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe increased the Diaspora Remittance Incentive Scheme to 10% from 3%, to try and bolster foreign currency remittances.
Between January and June last year, foreign currency remittances constituted 28% of the $2,8 billion in foreign currency receipts earned.
In 2016, diaspora remittances into Zimbabwe dropped by 17,9% to $1,57 billion from the previous year’s $1,91 billion.