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Black Tax: Understanding the financial transfers of the emerging black middle class

Arinao Mangoma and Anthony Wilson-Prangley

Development Southern Africa, 2019, vol. 36, issue 4, 443-460

Abstract: This study examines the ways in which the emerging black middle class make financial transfers to their direct and indirect families. The colloquial term in South Africa for this phenomenon is Black Tax. This study specifically focuses on understanding the lived experience of those making financial transfers. The methodology involved a questionnaire (n = 118) and six interviews. The main findings are that the transfers are substantive and most often spent on general expenditure and education. Transactions are to both urban and rural recipients and generally occur monthly. Those transferring money are dissatisfied with their own savings’ levels. The study demonstrates the applicability of the remittance script framework. Those transferring money blend script elements of obligation, repayment, help, blackmail, pooling and allowances. The study demonstrates the economic, social and personal significance of these transfers. It builds the foundation for further research on the social and economic aspects.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2018.1516545

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