This paper examines the impact of HIV/AIDS related morbidity and mortality on return migration to the rural Eastern Cape. Five case studies are presented, and the multiplicity of factors associated with rural return migration in the face of HIV/AIDS related illness delineated. The empirical material suggests illness-induced back migration is driven not only by the search for health and succour, but also by complex amalgams of shifting entitlement and obligation. Understanding the dynamics of rural return requires attention not only to the highly variegated position that urban returnees potentially assume within receiving households, but also the effects of their return on these households.
Working Paper 08/229 Centre for Social Science Research, University of Cape Town. 22 pp.