Narratives of informal workers in Warwick Junction, Durban- South Africa
In 2018, AeT in collaboration with informal traders established a rights based platform called the Incident Forum aimed at addressing issues faced by informal workers in public spaces. This forum led to the development of the Vikelani Amalungelo (Know Your Rights) booklets which summarily outlined informal workers rights and responsibilities in public spaces. In 2019, AeT took to the streets to disseminate 2000 copies of the Know Your Rights booklets to informal workers in Warwick Junction https://aet.org.za/vikelani-amalungelo-booklets/.
Through many conversations with traders, it became evident just how extensive the challenges facing traders on the streets were. However, these initial engagements predated the global pandemic, devastating local floods and lootings that proceeded to scourge the KZN province. In recent years informal workers have had to endure a magnitude of adversity none had thought possible. The ongoing incident forum convenings held with informal workers every month further supplement and corroborate the narratives of informal workers in public spaces. These recent financial, environmental and political hardships as well as the numerous pre-existing challenges have informed the narratives recounted below. We have attempted to aptly and sensitively capture and classify these into appropriate segments. The stories of informal workers in Warwick junction are written in the first person narrative in an attempt to record the stories as stated by the affected parties.