South Africa: The Informal Job Economy

Junior cleaning chicken for her shop.

[vimeo 72590992]

The historic scarcity of work opportunities, resultant chronic high unemployment coupled with apartheid-era laws sparked an entrepreneurial spirit among many South Africans as a means of survival. Today, within townships such as Alexandra and Kliptown, many residents engage in what’s called the ‘informal economy.’ At the South African Institute of Race Relations, a team of researchers examine evolving trends such as the informal job market. Researcher Boitumelo Sethlatswe provides an in depth look at this crucial segment of life in South Africa that’s under attack as the government considers licensing legislation.

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