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Theme: Informal Economy
Occupational Group(s): Street Vendors
Region(s): South Africa ; Sub-Saharan Africa
South Africa Mbombela Municipality empowers street vendors. SABC . (13 December 2016)
By Mkhaliphi, Sibusiso.

Street vendors in Kabokweni, outside Mbombela in Mpumalanga, received stalls from the Mbombela Municipality. The municipality has constructed stalls in a bid to improve the informal trader's businesses.

South Africa EMPD clamps down on street vendors. Alberton Record . (15 November 2016)

They wrote out fines and took most of their merchandise. EMPD reacted to a complaint about the roadside stalls in front of Alberton City in the Boulevard.

South Africa East Rand street vendors and police clash. The Citizen . (7 November 2016)
By Geyer, Chantelle.

Police clashed with street vendors in the Springs CBD after they confiscated merchandise. EMPD spokesperson Wilfred Kgasago said a complaint was received at 10am from a business in the vicinity, saying illegal hawkers were plying their trade and causing problems.

South Africa Street vendors infuriated after a clean-up. Randburg Sun . (23 August 2016)
By Luvhengo, Phathu.

Illegal traders complain that the City law enforcement agencies are taking away their jobs. Johannesburg Metro Police, Pikitup and Joburg Roads Agency (JRA) embarked on a clean-up project to eradicate the plight of illegal street vendors in Strijdom Park.

Durban South Africa Obituary - Zodwa Khumalo . (31 July 2016)

Ma Dlamini (Zodwa Khumalo)

Zodwa Khumalo, who was fondly referred to as “MaDlamini”, was a respected traditional healer and informal economy activist.  She started vending in the inner city of Durban, South African in the early 1980s, when apartheid authorities often violently removed vendors. She emerged as a powerful leader not only of traditional medicine traders, but informal workers in general. Her trading area, the Warwick Junction, was the site of innovation in inclusive planning for street vendors.


Ma Dlamini (Zodwa Khumalo)

In her capacity as president of the Self Employed Women’s Union, she played a key role in negotiations to secure appropriately designed and managed spaces for street vendors in the very heart of the city. She was also at the forefront of professionalizing the traditional medicine trade. Her tireless commitment has been an inspiration to many, showing that inclusive planning for the informal economy is possible.


She died in July 2016 due to complications stemming from a collision with a taxi, near her trading site. She leaves behind four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

South África Maynard: Estimating SA's informal economy - a hefty contribution Biz News . (16 April 2016)

Labour Market Approach: Reported earnings from informal sector employees, informal employment in the formal sector, earnings from unregulated businesses (street hawkers, spaza shops etc). Best measured by a household survey such as the General Household Survey from Statistics South Africa.

South África Industrious migrants are an opportunity for South Africa Weekend Argus . (10 January 2016)

Mean Streets book coverMean Streets: Migration, Xenophobia and Informality in South Africa, edited by Jonathan Crush, Abel Chikanda and Caroline Skinner, power¬fully demonstrates that some of the most resourceful entrepreneurs in the South African informal economy are migrants and refugees. Yet far from being lauded, they take their life into their hands when they trade on South Africa’s “mean streets”. This book draws attention to what they bring to their adopted country through research into previously unexamined areas of migrant entrepreneurship. Ranging from studies of how migrants have created agglomeration economies in Jeppe and Ivory Park in Johannesburg, to guanxi networks of Chinese entrepreneurs, to competition and cooperation among Somali shop owners, to cross-border informal traders, to the informal transport operators between South Africa and Zimbabwe, the chapters in this book reveal the positive economic contributions of migrants. These include generating employment, paying rents, providing cheaper goods to poor consumers, and supporting formal sector wholesalers and retailers. As well, Mean Streets highlights the xenophobic responses to migrant and refugee entrepreneurs and the challenges they face in running a successful business on the streets.  For further details see African Books Collective.

South África N Cape municipality accused of removing hawkers in CBD SABC . (2 October 2015)

The Sol Plaatje Municipality in the Northern Cape has forcibly removed hawkers around the Kimberley CBD. Angry hawkers have accused the municipality of harassment and incompetence amid alleged failure to issue trading permits.

South África More inclusive approach needed on Joburg informal traders - report News24 . (29 September 2015)
By Wakefield, Adam.

A more inclusive approach was needed on informal traders in Johannesburg, says a report released by the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of SA (Seri). The report, titled The End of the Street? Informal Trader Experiences of Rights and Regulations in Inner City Johannesburg, was released on Tuesday.

South África City of Joburg trading laws too restrictive SABC . (29 September 2015)
By Phagane, Tshepo.

The City of Johannesburg's street trading regulations are restrictive, inconsistent and enforcement-oriented rather than developmental or enabling. That's the conclusion of a research report into the experiences of informal traders in the Jo'burg CBD.