The Deeper Implications of Potholes

Priyanka Govender Picture driving on the way to work, when suddenly the entire car takes a large thump. A pothole. A common South African experience, akin to the likes of home affairs queues and loadshedding right before a deadline. Usually a situation like this is resolved in a matter of days with an insurance claim … Read more

Petty-Offence By-Laws are Part of the Problem in the Regulation of Informal Trading

Chloë Lead with Sithulisile Moyo Informal workers constitute a critical component of the city’s economic fabric, sustainability and development within the State. Thousands of informal workers operate in public spaces in Durban to earn decent livelihoods to support their dependants. This has alleviated poverty and economic hardships faced by families surviving far below the minimum … Read more

Law Seminar with informal workers: Closing the gap between law and justice

Sithulisile Moyo The ILO reported that around 2 billion people in the world work in the informal economy. That is more than 61% of the world’s economically active population. In South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the informal employment ratio is well above 80%. In developed countries it is only around 18%. The informal economy  secures … Read more

Impact of the pandemic on informal workers in Durban: Stories from the street

Misiwe Maphumulo & Sarah Heneck A WIEGO-led COVID-19 Crisis and the Informal Economy survey was conducted in 12 cities worldwide, with the aim of assessing the impact of the pandemic on informal workers.  Asiye eTafuleni (AeT) surveyed 185 informal workers across three sectors in Durban, namely, waste pickers, market traders and street traders. The COVID-19 pandemic … Read more

Trader Leaders Engaging with Street-based Strategies in Addressing COVID-19 Challenges

Thuli Moyo On the 18th June 2020, leaders of informal trading committees gathered for their regular Kanyenathi meeting. Kanyenathi (which means ‘with us’ in isiZulu) is an established community forum which gives traders the opportunity to formally engage with the City regarding infrastructure and maintenance issues in their places of work. Notwithstanding the absence of … Read more

Impacts of Coronavirus: Evolving challenges faced by informal workers

Sarah Heneck This is a follow on piece, tracking the impacts of coronavirus on the informal economy. Read the previous blog here. After almost 6 weeks of no income for the majority of informal workers in Warwick Junction, the move to lockdown level 4 offered a slight relief for those who are now able to … Read more

Impacts of Coronavirus: An uncertain future for informal workers

Sarah Heneck The coronavirus (COVID-19) has made its way swiftly to all corners of the world and into all communities, but this pandemic disproportionately affects the most vulnerable members of society, in both health and economic terms (the latter will be the focus of this blog-post). Durban’s inner-city informal workers are some of most vulnerable … Read more

Workshop Launch of Vikelani Amalungelo (isiZulu for “Protect our Rights”)

Zilungele Nkosi The Know your Rights’ initiative aims to educate and equip informal workers operating in public spaces with legal knowledge which plays a direct and indirect role in their day to day lives. There is a general lack of knowledge and awareness about the municipal by-laws which tends to make life difficult for traders. … Read more

Film Screening of “We Came in Spring Carts”

Tasmi Quazi A documentary entitled “We Came in Spring Carts” was aired at the 1860 Heritage Centre in Durban during May 2019.  It refers to the Indian indentured labourers that were one of the very first set of traders, who used to transport their fresh produce in Spring Carts.  They were originally located at what … Read more