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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Informality, poverty and survival: evidence from two cities in southern Africa
Author:Pranger, IngridISNI
Periodical:Journal of Social Development in Africa (ISSN 1012-1080)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Mozambique
South Africa
Southern Africa
Subjects:informal sector
government policy
urban economy
Economics, Commerce
Informal sector (Economics)
Urban economics
Abstract:For various reasons, most notably the lack of formal employment opportunities, increasingly more people conduct various kinds of informal business in the cities of southern Africa. At the same time the possibilities for making a decent living out of informal activities have decreased, and the percentage of survivalists within the informal economy has continuously grown. Based on a questionnaire survey of 300 informal business people and expert interviews conducted in 2004, this article gives an overview of the socioeconomic situation of informal businesses in Durban, South Africa, and Maputo, Mozambique, and considers the causes as well as the different manifestations of this phenomenon. The responses of the administrative authorities in the two cities to the various challenges posed by this phenomenon varied according to the human and financial resources at their disposal, and their mindset. In general, however, the nature of the policy interventions by the authorities did not seem to correspond with the challenges at hand, let alone help in integrating the informal economy into the mainstream urban socioeconomic spheres of the two countries in general and the two cities in particular. Thus, the informal economy hardly fulfilled economic and social functions for individuals and the society at large and ultimately it failed to make a sustainable contribution to economic and social development. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]