Challenging city imaginaries: Street traders’ struggles in Warwick Junction

  • Article Title: Challenging city imaginaries: Street traders’ struggles in Warwick Junction
  • Title of Journal: Agenda
  • Vol #: 81

This paper examines how street vendors working in Warwick Junction, Durban, have through collective organizing struggled to integrate themselves into urban planning. Furthermore, the paper analyses recent developments, suggesting that as a result of increased private property investments and modernist city visions the vendors position as being able to influence planning processes is facing difficult challenges. A branch of the Self Employed Women’s Union (SEWU) operating in the Warwick Junction area has been engaging directly in negotiations with local authorities. As a result of the collective struggles, SEWU leaders had secured agreement from the Durban City Council to install water supplies and temporary toilet facilities for street traders. SEWU had also managed to build a structured relationship with the Council’s Informal Business Unit. However, in the build-up to the FIFA World Cup, the council engaged in a project with private investors planning a mall in Warwick Junction. SEWU has been engaged in advocating against the plan that would disadvantage the vendors at the Junction. However, the vendors have been largely excluded from the planning process in the interest of the private property investors.

Informal Economy Theme
Informal Economy Topic
Occupational group
Publication Type