The Response of the Dutch Reformed Church Mission to Labour Migration from Malawi to South Africa 1889–1994: A Leaf to be Borrowed by the 21st Century African Churches




Labour Migration, Response, Dutch Reformed Church Mission, Malawi, South Africa


This article mainly highlights what southern African Churches can learn and borrow as a leaf from the contribution of the Dutch Reformed Church Mission to labour migration from the Central Region in Malawi to South Africa between 1889 and 1994. It is argued that although push factors for labour migration were the legacy of Western economic imperialism, the Malawi government’s inability to create jobs for its citizens and some Malawians’ belief that migration from Malawi to South Africa was a means to fulfil their heart-felt and lifetime desire for economic opportunities, the mission played an important role in responding to labour migration. While it is understandable that the contexts of the 19th century and 21st century are different. Also, the truth that the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa supported the apartheid government, this article arguably stresses that there are important lessons the Southern African Churches may learn from the mission’s response to labour migrants.


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How to Cite

Zeze, Willie. “The Response of the Dutch Reformed Church Mission to Labour Migration from Malawi to South Africa 1889–1994: A Leaf to Be Borrowed by the 21st Century African Churches”. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, 21 pages.



Received 2023-10-09
Accepted 2024-03-11
Published 2024-04-16