Maluleke, Timothy
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The informal economy plays an important role and positively contributes to the economic development of South Africa. The purpose of the research is to explore the comparative analysis of the best practice in support of street trading in South Africa, with a particular focus on the three metropolitan municipalities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and eThekwini. The South African government has embraced and supported the informal economy by developing policies that are meant to improve the life of informal traders. The literature review indicates that informal traders face a number of challenges and constraints, such as lack of finance, cost of registration, and complicated regulations and procedures that hinder the development of the informal economy. The current legislation and policies need to be in favour of informal traders, as they have been a centre of attention because of the high rate of unemployment. Many individuals who are unemployed tend to resort to informal sector activities for survival. A qualitative study was conducted in the three metropolitan municipalities to compare best practice in support of street traders. This has been done by looking into legislative policies and regulations that govern and support the development of informal traders. The policies and regulations of the three metropolitan municipalities were extensively used in the research to determine the support they give to the development of informal traders. The research findings have revealed that the reason for becoming street traders is that the majority of the population is not employed and/or has lost formal employment through retrenchment and had to become informal traders as a last resort to support their families and improve their living conditions. The research also revealed that the metropolitan municipalities have assisted street traders by enhancing their business skills through training and mentorship programmes, which have helped them to start realising profitability ii in their businesses and enable them to run their businesses in a professional manner. Studies have shown that the general challenges and obstacles faced by street traders include, among others, the lack of shelter for their stalls, lack of toilets, water, electricity and storage facilities for their stock and goods, as well as the unsafe environment in which they find themselves, but the three metropolitan municipalities have done good work in addressing these challenges and obstacles.
Informal traders , Informal economy