English: This article investigates the impact of cross-border movement from Lesotho to the
eastern Free State towns of Ficksburg, Ladybrand and Wepener. The many Basotho who
visit these towns have a tangible impact on economic activity and service provision.
The findings include, among other things, the major economic benefits for the border
towns and the impact on South Africa’s health and education services. Stakeholders
attributed both the fast growth of informal settlements and the high rate of unemployment
to the movement of Lesotho citizens, but this could not be verified. Policy
recommendations include the need to facilitate the flow of people and to garner reliable
information on which to base planning and decision-making.