n Africa Insight - Trading hope : working conditions of sub-Saharan immigrant street traders in Johannesburg and Tshwane

Volume 42, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Informal street trading fulfils an important role in South Africa's economy. This article examines the working conditions of informal street traders from Sub-Saharan Africa who trade in the central business districts of Johannesburg and Tshwane. With reference to relevant literature, it identifies their demographic profile, the reasons for their participation in informal trading, a profile of their businesses and the challenges they face. The results indicate that certain differences can be observed between the traders in Johannesburg and Tshwane regarding their operating environment and business profiles, which can be attributed to the stronger economy of Johannesburg. Despite their working conditions, respondents demonstrate endurance and entrepreneurial capabilities by making a living in a foreign economy. Significant policy implications are also discussed.

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