Despite Mozambique’s relatively high economic growth rate, there has been little absorption of unskilled workers. The urban informal sector has become unattractive to the rural poor, as competition for jobs makes economic survival more difficult. As a result, rural households have sought employment in South Africa. Yet much Mozambican employment in South Africa remains ‘illegal’, with concomitant risks of exploitation, insecurity and marginalisation. This paper undertakes an inter-regional analysis of south, central and northern Mozambique, considering the impact of remittances in the south, and disparities in wealth and wellbeing. It concludes that the nature of migration in the area has changed significantly in the post-apartheid era, with a notable shift from mining to more varied employment opportunities. Wage remittances remain likely to fall and the employment situation become less secure however, as free market policies, combined with harsh policies on undocumented migrants, take their toll.