Photography by:
  • Nedine Moonsamy & Holger Deppe & Patrick Moerane

Trade in the Gauteng City-Region

  • Ongoing
  • Dr Sally Peberdy

The objective of the project has been two-fold: to explore the activities of cross border migrant and South African informal sector entrepreneurs in the GCR, and to examine trade flows into and out of the GCR in order to establish their contribution, as well as possible costs, to the GCR. The latter part of the project has focused on small scale or informal sector cross border trade flows into and out of the GCR.

Interviews were conducted with 1 567 informal sector cross border migrant and South African entrepreneurs across the GCR. A further 1 270 interviews were then conducted with informal sector cross border traders in the GCR.

The research with cross border migrant and South African informal sector entrepreneurs has focused on types of trade, capitalization (including access to and amounts of start-up capital as well as current values of businesses), entrepreneurial qualities and experience, employment of people in their businesses, contributions and costs to the South African economy, relationships to the formal sector, and the problems faced by entrepreneurs. The study also asked questions regarding entrepreneurs experiences of municipal governments' attempts to control street trading, including ‘Operation Clean Sweep’ held in Johannesburg in 2013.

The research with informal sector cross border traders has examined the spatial extent of trade and transport networks, types of goods traded, where goods are bought and sold, use of the retail, wholesale and hospitality sectors (including relationships to the formal sector), capitalization (including access to and amounts of start-up capital), the problems faced by traders, the financial value of informal sector cross border trade to the economy of the GCR, the obstacles to and opportunities for maximizing the benefits of informal sector cross border trade for the future GCR economy.

The research has been undertaken in partnership with the Southern African Migration Programme (SAMP) at Queen’s University, Canada, the African Centre for Cities (ACC) at the University of Cape Town and the University of Eduardo Mondlane (UEM), Maputo. The research was funded by the GCRO and the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) through SAMP. The joint part of the research was part of a project ‘Growing informal cities: mobile entrepreneurs and inclusive growth in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe’ and focused on the cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Harare and Maputo. The GCRO extended the research to the wider GCR and to include South Africans.

As part of the project the GCRO has co-hosted two workshops with the African Centre for Cities and the Southern African Migration Project. The first was held in February 2014, and the second in February 2015 saw the presentation of preliminary results of the project.

Outputs

GCRO and GCRO/SAMP Reports

Peberdy, S. (forthcoming) ‘Competition and Cooperation: South African and International Migrants in Johannesburg’s Informal Economy’, GCRO/SAMP Policy Series No. 72.

Peberdy, S. (forthcoming) ‘Informal Sector Cross Border Trade: Connecting Johannesburg to Markets in Southern Africa’ GCRO/SAMP Policy Series.

Peberdy, S. (2016) ‘International Migrants in Johannesburg’s Informal Economy’, GCRO/SAMP Policy Series No. 71.

Peberdy, S., Campbell, E., Cau, B., Crush, J., Green, T., Msibi, N., Mulenga, L., Nickanor, N., Raimundo, I., Tevera, D., Tawodzera, G., Tsoka, M., Zindela, N. (2015) ‘Informal cross border trading in southern Africa: A regional profile’, Southern African Migration Project (SAMP) Policy Series No. 69.

Peberdy, S. (2015) ‘Informal sector enterprise and employment in Gauteng,’ GCRO Data Brief No. 6.

Peberdy, S. (2015) ‘Xenophobic attacks – are migrants the only victims?’ GCRO Vignette.

Academic publications and other

Peberdy, S., Crush, J. Tevera, D., Tevera, D., Campbell, E., Zindela, N., Raimundo, I., Green, T., Chikanda, A., and G. Tawodzera (2015) ‘Transnational entrepreneurship and informal cross-border trade with South Africa,’ in J. Crush, A. Chikanda and C. Skinner (eds.) Mean Streets: Migration, Xenophobia and Informality in South Africa, SAMP, University of Cape Town and IDRC: Cape Town and Ottawa: 207-228.

Peberdy, S. (2015). ‘A City on the Move’, in Z. Asmal and G. Trangos (eds.) Movement Johannesburg: an Urban Anthology, Designing South Africa and South African Cities Network: Johannesburg & Cape Town, pp. 40-51.

Peberdy, S. (2016). 'How informal cross border trade extends the reach of Johannesburg’s retail and wholesale sectors', in UrbanAfrica.net. Online: http://www.urbanafrica.net/urban-voices/15458/

Presentations

As a consequence of xenophobic violence in South Africa Sally Peberdy has often been invited to share the results of the research by print, radio and television media including: BBC; Business Day; CCTV; City Press; CNBC; eNCA; eTV; Power FM; Radio 702; Radio Jozi/Today; SAFM; Voice of Wits.

Peberdy, S. (2016) ‘Informal sector entrepreneurship and cross border trade and proposed changes to immigration and refugee legislation’ presented at ‘Migration Policy Reform’ hosted by the Legal Resources Centre and Lawyers for Human Rights, Pretoria, May 2016.

Peberdy, S. (2016) ‘Xenophobia and social cohesion in Gauteng’ presented to the Gauteng Eminent Group for Nation Building and Social Cohesion, Johannesburg, April 2016.

Peberdy, S. (2016) ‘Competition and the Informal Sector in Gauteng’ presented to the Grocery Retail Inquiry of the Competition Commission, Pretoria, February 2016.

Peberdy, S. (2015) ‘Migrant entrepreneurs in Johannesburg’s informal sector’ presented at ‘Integration through entrepreneurship’ hosted by the Royal Embassy of Sweden and Embassy of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Pretoria, December 2015.

As part of the project the GCRO has co-hosted two workshops with the African Centre for Cities and the Southern African Migration Project. The first was held in February 2014, and the second in February 2015 presented the preliminary results of the project.

Peberdy, S. (2015) ‘Xenophobia and the GCR’, presented at Gauteng Provincial Government EXCO, Erasmia, May 2015.

Peberdy, S. (2015) ‘Racism and xenophobia in the Gauteng City-Region’, presented at Gauteng African Peer Review Mechanism Provincial Governing Council, Johannesburg, March 2015.

Peberdy, S. (2015) ‘Migrant entrepreneurs in the City of Johannesburg’, presented at Department of Sociology & Anthropology, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, March 2015.

Peberdy, S. (2015) ‘Xenophobia and migrant entrepreneurship’, presented at Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria, February 2015.

Peberdy, S. (2015) ‘Migrant entrepreneurs in the City of Johannesburg’, presented at Southern African Migration Project (SAMP), Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO), African Centre for Cities (ACC), Cape Town, February 2015.

Peberdy, S. (2014) ‘Social Protection for Informal Sector Cross Border Traders,’ presented at Southern African Social Protection Experts Network (SASPEN), Ekurhuleni, November 2014.

Peberdy, S., Campbell, E., Cau, B., Conteh, M., Eiseb, G., Green, T., Mokhomane,Z., Mulenga, C., Nickanor, N., Tawodzera, G., & Tevera, D. (2014) ‘Small scale cross border trade in Southern Africa,’ presented at Southern African Migration Project (SAMP), Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO), African Centre for Cities (ACC), Cape Town, February 2014.


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