OPINION

Street traders in South Africa play a vital role: protecting their rights.

Street traders in South Africa play a vital role: how their rights can be protected. Nonhlanhla Ngcobo, North-West University; Anél du Plessis, North-West University, and Oliver Fuo, North-West University The South African informal economy accounts for 17% of employment. Street trading is the largest. Street traders are scattered around the many corners of the country’s …

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New forms of urban planning are emerging in Africa

New forms of urban planning are emerging in Africa Sylvia Croese, University of the Witwatersrand and Philip Harrison, University of the Witwatersrand Rapid urban growth and an increasing number of climate change related disasters, such as the recent floods in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, have put the importance of sound urban planning in Africa in …

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A portal designed specially for informal businesses could be a game-changer

A portal designed specially for informal businesses could be a game-changer Justine Olawande Daramola, Cape Peninsula University of Technology Africa has the highest proportion of informal sector workers anywhere in the world. They account for more than 85% of the continent’s workers. This compares with 68.2% in Asia and the Pacific, 68.6% in the Arab …

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The World Bank and IMF are using flawed logic in their quest to do away with the informal sector

The World Bank and IMF are using flawed logic in their quest to do away with the informal sector Mike Rogan, Rhodes University; Max Gallien, Institute of Development Studies, and Vanessa van den Boogaard, Institute of Development Studies Many low and middle-income countries face a myriad of challenges. But policies that can address them are …

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Johannesburg is threatening to sideline informal waste pickers. Why it’s a bad idea

Johannesburg is threatening to sideline informal waste pickers. Why it’s a bad idea Melanie Samson, University of the Witwatersrand Like all cities in the world, Johannesburg, South Africa’s commercial capital, has a waste management problem. In 2018/19, more than 290 000 tonnes of waste was illegally dumped in neighbourhoods across the city. Illegal dumping will …

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Nigeria’s COVID-19 waste management policy should include the informal sector

Nigeria’s COVID-19 waste management policy should include the informal sector Chidi Nzeadibe, University of Nigeria and Adaeze Ejike-Alieji, University of Nigeria Solid waste management is an important public health service because it helps to prevent the transmission of disease. It also has a social significance: piles of uncollected waste in cities are an embarrassment to …

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How the COVID-19 pandemic will affect informal workers. Insights from Kenya

How the COVID-19 pandemic will affect informal workers. Insights from Kenya Njeri Kinyanjui, University of Nairobi COVID-19 is going to have a devastating impact on economies. Africa has a particular vulnerability because so many people work in the informal sector. In an interview with Moina Spooner from The Conversation Africa, Njeri Kinyanjui explains how this …

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South Africa’s spaza shops: how regulatory avoidance harms informal workers

South Africa’s spaza shops: how regulatory avoidance harms informal workers Andries du Toit, University of the Western Cape Small informal retailers are a ubiquitous feature of any developing country’s urban landscape. Known as spaza shops in South Africa, they are an important, even vital, component in the townships. Numbering over 100,000 across the nation, they …

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Informal economies are diverse: South African policies need to recognise this

Informal economies are diverse: South African policies need to recognise this Mike Rogan, Rhodes University South Africa is currently mulling over ideas and agreements that recently came out of a two-day jobs summit. The country is losing the battle against high joblessness. The latest figures show unemployment stood at 27.2% during the second quarter of …

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Kenya should be focused on recycling, not banning plastic bags

Kenya should be focused on recycling, not banning plastic bags Leah Oyake-Ombis, University of Nairobi Kenya recently announced a ban on one of the most common materials used in the country’s packaging sector – plastic bags. This includes the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging. This isn’t …

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