Upgrading informal trading: impacts on livelihoods and social cohesion in Khayelitsha

SOURCE: The state of the nation: poverty & inequality: diagnosis, prognosis and responses
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2019
TITLE AUTHOR(S): V.Barolsky, D.Sanchez-Betancourt, Y.D.Davids
SOURCE EDITOR(S): C.Soudien, V.Reddy, I.Woolard
KEYWORDS: KHAYELITSHA, POVERTY ALLEVIATION, TRADE
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10752

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Abstract

The chapter investigates how these economic-rational aspirations undermined existing social cohesion and forms of solidarity as evidenced by the tensions that emerged between the intervention and the traders it sought to 'regularise' by moving them into formal trading spaces where they would be subject to a new regulatory regime, including training in business practices. They were to be transformed into the classic Western 'entrepreneur' ??? self-interested, utility-maximising individuals whose rationality would be shaped by an ethos of individual profit rather than a communal ethic of survival and solidarity. While the overarching objective of the intervention was violence prevention, the strategies it adopted had wider social and economic effects, which are examined here. Most significantly, the intervention sought to prevent and address violence by formalising social and economic relations in the township of Khayelitsha.