Street trader organisations in policy processes (2023)
- Dr Mamokete Modiba
Street trading is a highly contested economic activity in cities of the global south. This is mainly due to different interests and discourses by officials and other stakeholders such as formal businesses. These interests are in most cases contradictory resulting in disjuncture between initiatives of job creation and poverty alleviation encouraged mainly by national government and the management and maintenance of streets by local governments, where approaches tend to be restrictive. The restrictive nature of policies and implementation practices has led to collective action and mobilisation of street traders in an effort to influence these processes.
The project build on research work that has been undertaken by the Centre for Urbanism and Built Environment Studies (CUBES) on street trading governance in Johannesburg and subsequent work under the Practices of the State in Urban Governance Programme. It investigated the role and influence of street trader leaders in urban governance through a comparative study between the Gauteng City-Region metropolitan municipalities (Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni) with reflections from Ahmedabad, India. The main research question asked by the project was what is the role and influence of street trader leaders in the everyday management of street trade? This broad question was then broken down into various sub-questions including: What are the prevailing street trader representative structures in the case study areas? What are the various configurations of these representative structures and their internal dynamics? How do the leaders relate to state actors and how do these relations translate to the extent of leaders’ participation in everyday management of street trade? What are the leaders’ roles in the governance of street trade?
This project was part of the project lead’s PhD research under the supervision of Dr Richard Ballard (GCRO Principal Researcher) and Prof. Claire Benit-Gbaffou (Senior Lecturer, Aix Marseille University & visiting scholar at CUBES, University of the Witwatersrand) between 2016 and 2021. The project lead submitted her thesis for examination in June 2021 titled “The role and influence of street trader leaders in urban governance: The case of Gauteng metros with reflections from Ahmedabad, India” with final revisions submitted in December 2021. The PhD was formally conferred in July 2022. During the course of the project, the project lead presented in various academic and government fora, both locally and internationally. The project also resulted in a number of outputs including a PhD thesis, book chapters and an OpEd.
Modiba, M. and Mdluli, TN. (2023) The Inclusion of International Migrants in the Informal Economy: From Policy to Practice. In Maharaj, P. (ed) Migrant Traders in South Africa. Palgrave MacMillan. Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-21151-5.
Modiba, M. (2022) Johannesburg’s informal traders face abuse: the city’s ‘world class’ aspirations create hostility towards them, The Conversation, 12 October 2022.
Matjomane, M. (2021) From the margins of the state to quasi-state bureaucrats: The shifting nature of street trader leaders’ agency in Tshwane, South Africa. in Pezzano, A., Pioppi, D., Sathiyah, V. and Frassinelli, PP. (eds.) The Question of Agency in African Studies, UniorPress, Napoli. https://doi.org/10.6093/978-88-6719-243-4.
Matjomane, M. (2021) The role and influence of street trader leaders in urban governance: The case of Gauteng metros with reflections from Ahmedabad, India. PHD thesis. University of the Witwatersrand, School of Architecture and Planning.
Matjomane, M. and Benit-Gbaffou, C. (2019) Towards Integrating the Community in Governance of Urban Informality? Lessons from Yeoville, In Benit-Gbaffou, C.; Charlton, S.; Didier, S and Dormann, K. Politics and Community-Based Research: Perspectives from Yeoville Studio, Johannesburg. Pretoria: Wits University Press.
Matjomane, M. (2019) Running a spaza shop. In Benit-Gbaffou C., Charlton S., Didier S. and Dormann, K. Politics and Community-Based Research: Perspectives from Yeoville Studio, Johannesburg. Pretoria: Wits University Press.
Mamokete Modiba (February 2023). 'Research Journey: From Honours, Masters to PhD', School of Architecture & Planning Honours Research Course, Microsoft Teams, 24 February 2023.
Mamokete Modiba (February 2023). ‘From the Margins of the State to Quasi-State Bureaucrats: the Shifting Nature of Street Trader Leaders in Tshwane, South Africa', The Question of Agency in African Studies Book Launch, Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study, 07 February 2023.
Mamokete Modiba, Darlington Mushongera with Claire Benit-Gbaffou (May 2022). 'Practices of the state in urban governance: A view from post-apartheid South African cities', Faces of the City Seminar, Online, 31 May 2022.
Mamokete Modiba and Thobelani Mdluli (April 2022). 'The inclusion of foreign migrants in the informal economy: From policy to practice". UKZN writing workshop, Coastlands Musgrave Hotel, 28 April 2022.
Mamokete Modiba (April 2022). ‘Qualitative Research: Using PhD example to bring the method to life'. Guest lecture for Masters Research Methods students, School of Architecture and Planning, Wits, Zoom, 8 April 2022.
Mamokete Matjomane (March 2022). ‘Research Journey: From Honours to PhD. Guest lecture for Honours Research Methods students, School of Architecture and Planning, Wits, 8 March 2022.
Mamokete Matjomane (November 2021). 'Governing with/through non-state actors: Leaders' participation in street trade management in Gauteng municipalities', Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, SPLUMA Forum, Microsoft Teams Video Conference, 24 November 2021.
Mamokete Matjomane (September 2020) ‘Acting like the state: Leaders’ participation in street trade management in Gauteng municipalities’, Southern African Cities Studies Conference, Online, 4 September 2020.
Mamokete Matjomane (August 2020) ‘Interrogating the “township economies” concept in the Gauteng context’, Southern African Cities Studies Conference, Online, 31 August 2020.
Mamokete Matjomane (November 2019) 'The impact of international migrants on the Gauteng informal economy', GPGDED Policy Dialogue, The Reef Hotel, 20 November 2019.
Mamokete Matjomane (October 2019) ‘Manifestations of street trader leaders’ agency in the Gauteng city region. International Doctoral Workshop, Procida Italy. 4 October 2019.
Mamokete Matjomane (September 2019) 'Acting like the state? Trader leaders' participation in street trade management in Gauteng municipalities', SoAP PhD Symposium, Wits University, 13 September 2019.
Mamokete Matjomane (August 2019) ‘Acting like the state? Street trader leaders’ participation in street trade management’. Royal Geographical Society International Conference, London. 28 August 2019.
Mamokete Matjomane (May 2019) 'Regulation and Mainstreaming of the Informal Economy'. Good Governance Africa Informal Economy Convening Panel. 16 May 2019.
Mamokete Matjomane (November 2018) ‘The politics of informal trader representation’. Practices of the State in Urban Governance Seminar. 2 November 2018.
Mamokete Matjomane (September 2018) ‘The role and influence of informal trader organisations in policy and practice’, School of Architecture and Planning PhD Symposium, Wits University. 27 September 2018.
Mamokete Matjomane (June 2018) ‘Losing battles and winning the war? Street traders’ influence on policy-making in India, Practices of the State in Urban Governance International Workshop, Wits University, 6 June 2018
Mamokete Matjomane (May 2017) Panel titled 'What would "just" governance of street trading look like in Johannesburg?'. Spatial Justice Round table. Wits University. 15 May 2017.
Mamokete Matjomane (April 2017) 'The Politics of 'The Piles': contestations of street trading on De Villiers Street'. Taking Streets Seriously Symposium. Wits University, Sturrock Park. 5 April 2017.
Last updated: 14 March 2023.