n Journal of Public Administration - The impact of shebeens on the local economy : evidence from Soweto, South Africa

Volume 54 Number 4-1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767


Shebeens are commonly associated with violence, risky sexual behaviour and crime. However, the positive economic impact of shebeens on local communities is understood to a lesser degree. Using the Tshepo500000 cross-sectional dataset collected in 2017 by ResearchGO at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), this article investigates the economic contribution of shebeens in Soweto, South Africa. Findings suggest that informal businesses, shebeens in particular, improve the economic wellbeing of owners and create employment opportunities for others. Furthermore, the discussion shows a complementary relationship between shebeen-income and income from other informal businesses. The article proposes ways to study shebeens further in order to understand their role in South Africa's township economies.

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