Where informal sector cross border traders sell their goods

This map shows some of the many places where informal sector cross border traders take goods bought in the Gauteng City-Region, South Africa, to sell or use in their businesses back in their home countries. The map demonstrates how informal sector cross border traders connect the retail and wholesale sectors of Gauteng to cities, towns and villages across Southern Africa.

The data comes from a GCRO 2014 survey of 1,270 informal sector cross border traders interviewed in Johannesburg (665), Pretoria (248), Ekurhuleni (227), Randfontein (60), Vereeniging/Vanderbijlpark (50) and Bronkhorstpruit (20). Using the geographical location where individual interviews were conducted in Gauteng as starting points and the destination towns or cities as end points, straight lines were drawn to indicate the flow of goods and the traders who carry them. The circles in the map represent the number of informal sector cross border traders who go to the destination city or town where they sell or use their goods. These are split into 4 categories using the natural breaks algorithm with the lowest category (1-7) representing the smallest number of informal sector cross border traders and the highest category (86-281) representing the biggest number of informal sector cross border traders.

The primary destinations for all countries recorded in the survey are the capital cities, followed by other commercial centres and transport nodes like Bulawayo and Masvingo (Zimbabwe), Xai Xai (Mozambique) and Blantyre (Malawi). Some are far away like Nairobi (Kenya) and Mzuzu (Malawi). A few traders buy and sell in South African towns like Ficksburg and Komatipoort on their way back to their home countries.

The research in Johannesburg was undertaken by the GCRO and co-funded by the GCRO and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) through the Southern African Migration Programme (SAMP) and the African Centre for Cities (ACC).



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