Original Research

A socio-economic analysis of african female street traders in the Johannesburg CBD

P Lalthapersad-Pillay
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 7, No 1 | a1426 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v7i1.1426 | © 2004 P Lalthapersad-Pillay | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 July 2004 | Published: 23 July 2004

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P Lalthapersad-Pillay, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Abstract

In recent years the informal sector in both less developed countries and in developing countries, including South Africa, has undergone rapid growth. In South Africa, high levels of unemployment and poverty have pushed many of the unemployed into self-employment activities in the informal sector. The informal sector is a highly diversified segment, and street trading is one type of survivalist activity. In South Africa, street trading is conducted mainly by African women, who sell mostly fruits, vegetables and cooked foods. The quintessential feature of informal sector work is its precarious nature, especially as it evades the ambit of social security and labour legislation. This article explores the nature of street trading undertaken in the Johannesburg CBD, characterised by poor working conditions, low income, extremely long hours and overcrowding.

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