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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Getting institutions right? Local government and street traders in four South African cities
Author:Skinner, CarolineISNI
Periodical:Urban Forum
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:local politics
market women
External link:https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03036831
Abstract:This article contributes to the debate and policy discourse over the role of institutions in development by examining the role of local government in South Africa in relation to poorer street traders, the majority of whom are self-employed women. The focus of the primary analysis is to highlight trends in urban policy and practice towards the informal economy, in particular street trading in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria. The research demonstrates that the potential conditions for street traders in South Africa have dramatically changed in the last decade while the actual conditions have improved only for some. There is a tendency not to take into account the reality of poorer, predominantly woman traders. An institutional analysis highlights blockages to local government creating an enabling environment for survivalist entrepreneurs. The primary research reveals the absence of street trading policies at city level. If local governments approach street trading without an explicit awareness of the specific gendered nature of this sector those with the least voice and power, the poor - and particularly poorer women - will be further marginalized. Bibliogr., notes.