Acta Universitatis Danubius. Œconomica, Vol 13, No 3 (2017)

Street trading in South Africa: a case of the Tshwane central business district

Betty Nkrumah-Abebrese, Chris Schachtebeck

Abstract


Formal and informal street trading is both prevalent and growing in inner city settings. This phenomenon is particularly prevalent in Central Business Districts (CBDs). In the South African inner city context, street trading is thriving and provides an opportunity for street traders to earn a living. This study aims to discover the characteristics and factors influencing street trading in the Tshwane CBD, South Africa. The study follows a case study approach and is qualitative in nature, making use of semi-structured interviews with 30 street traders. A non-probability sampling approach was followed by means of snowball sampling. Data was analyzed by means of content and thematic analysis. Results indicate that main factors driving street trading in Tshwane CBD include unemployment and poverty, migration and urbanisation, survivalist entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial intentions. Two-thirds of respondents indicated that they had been street traders for 10-20 years, with little to no trading experience. Respondents also indicates a number of survival challenges, such as low incomes and poor working conditions. Difficulty in understanding municipal by-laws governing street trading were also identified. The findings of this study will assist municipalities, particularly in developing economies, in understanding and better managing street trading activities in CBDs


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