Remittance markets comprise both a commercial opportunity for financial sector operators, and an important means of supporting impoverished communities. In 2012 FinMark Trust commissioned an exercise to estimate the size of remittance flows from South Africa, which is a key regional hub for economic migration, to the various countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This paper provides an update of that exercise for 2016, using, and where possible updating, the methodologies deployed in 2012. As in 2012, the basis of our calculations is the assumption that the size of the remittance market can be estimated using a combination of an assessment of the number of SADC migrants living in South Africa, and an understanding of their individual remittance patterns and volumes.

Quantifying Migrant Numbers

To quantify migrant numbers, we segment the migrant population into four quadrants based on two key aspects of their legal status: firstly, whether they had the legal right to enter the country; and secondly, whether they currently have the legal right to stay and work in South Africa.