Visit South Africa's official Covid-19 resource portal
Township Economy

Township Economy provides a unique insight into township informal business and entrepreneurship. It is set in the post-apartheid period, in the third decade of Africa’s democracy and draws on evidence collected from 2010-2018 in 10 township sites, nine in South Africa and one in Namibia. The book focuses on micro-enterprises, the business strategies of township entrepreneurs and the impact of autonomous informal economic activities on urban life.

The book is unique in approach and content. It looks at spatial influences at various gradients, from the city-wide level, to objects, to invisible infrastructure. The analysis examines the influence of power as a tool to dominate and control and thus constraint inclusive opportunities. This captivating book will be of interest academic researchers, university students and specialists in business studies, urbanism, politics and socio-economic development.

Product information

Format : 280mm x 210mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 352
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2577-0
Publish Year : March 2020
Rights : World Rights

Acknowledgements

List of tables and figures

Abbreviations and Acronyms

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

Knowledge Foundation

Conceptual Framework

Outlook

CHAPTER 2: RESEARCHING OBJECTS, SPACES, PERSONS AND PRACTICES

Researcher Reflexivity

The Research Sites

The Small-Area Census Method

Socio-Spatial Methods

Diagrams and Drawings

Photography

Personal Stories

Ethical Considerations

CHAPTER 3: ENTREPRENEURS AND SURVIVALISTS

The Scope and Scale of Micro-Enterprises

Spatial Patterns

Change and Transition

Pathways into Business

Outlook

CHAPTER 4: THE RIGHT TO USE LAND

Land-Use Systems

Opportunities and Constraints

Two Case Studies

Land Transactions

Investment

Outlook

CHAPTER 5: SPATIAL ORDERING

The Neighbourhood Economy

Micro-Spatial Influences

Infrastructure and Architecture

Permanent Structures

Temporary Structures

Mobility

Street Life Voices

Outlook

CHAPTER 6: THE HIGH STREET AND BUSINESS PIONEERS

Structural Barriers

Eveline Street Case

Outlook

CHAPTER 7: TRANSPORT: EFFICIENT BUT VIOLENT

The Township Transport Sector

The Spatial Economy of Township Transport

Thugocracy and Violent Entrepreneurship

Outlook

CHAPTER 8: WINNERS AND LOSERS IN THE GROCERY TERRITORIAL BATTLE

Spaza Shops in Delft South

From Survivalist to Entrepreneurs

Spatial Change

Shopping Malls, Supermarkets and Wholesalers

Outlook

CHAPTER 9: DRINKING VENUES AND THE LEISURE ECONOMY

Liquor Regulation and Moral Panic

Scope and Scale of Retailers

Sweet Home Farm

Programmatic Usage

Outlook: Transformative Possibilities

CHAPTER 10: THE CULTURE AND CONVENIENCE OF FOODSERVICE

The Food System

Food Services

Polony and Listeriosis

Outlook

CHAPTER 11: SERVICES AS SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Hair Care

Educares

Traditional Healers

Outlook

CHAPTER 12: SUSTAINING BUSINESS AND COPING WITH RISK

Business Strategies

Social Institutions

Capital

Divestment

Outlook

CHAPTER 13: CONCLUSIONS: PROTECT, CONTAIN and DISRUPT

Overview

Themes

Differentiated Opportunities

Space Matters

Institutions are Incongruent

Corporate Power Stifles

Informality Nurtures Economic Resistance

Outlook

References

Legislation

About the Authors

Index

Andrew Charman

Andrew trained as a sociologist and development specialist, studying at the University of Cape Town and Cambridge where he obtained a PhD degree. Andrew has worked as a researcher, a project manager and development practitioner on a range of projects across diverse settings in Southern Africa, including rural areas and townships. His interest in informal markets arose from his work in Malawi supporting smallholder producers. He then worked as a researcher and consultant, advising on development strategies and policies. In 2010, Andrew co-founded the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation (SLF) (www.livelihoods.org.za) with the aim of contributing knowledge about how people were responding to development challenges, through conducting research, enabling participatory engagement and facilitating appropriate support. At SLF, he has led a series of projects to understand the policy and regulatory barriers impacting on micro-enterprises in South Africa’s townships. Andrew has wide experience of using mixed methods research and working with researchers from across disciplines to co-produce research that speaks to people’s lived realities. As a development practitioner, Andrew seeks to translate research into interventions that can better serve people’s needs, challenge unfair laws and hold policymakers to account. He has published research on a range of subjects, including food security, informal sector businesses and the politics of informality.

Leif Petersen

Leif Petersen has worked for the last 15 years in the field of South Africa’s township microenterprises and markets. As a co-founding director of the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation NPC (SLF), he has presented a substantive body of academic, commercial and mainstream reporting and presentations on township economy markets, in particular market intelligence for sectors including Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) retailing, supply chain development, and market dynamics of grocery trading, liquor retailing, traditional medicine, and informal manufacturing. His PhD and Post-Doctoral work has focused on qualitative understanding of businesses and consumers of traditional medicines and food in the township context. Leif has worked for a large number of corporate, public sector and international clients and has considerable experience in studies of competition in informal business, and the identification and nature of trade of items such as counterfeit goods and contraband cigarettes. In 2018, Leif concluded a nationwide inquiry into competition in grocery retailing in township informal markets – interviewing over 1 180 township FMCG businesses in all nine provinces. He has strong interests in translating SLF’s insights and interconnectedness with the township economy into interventions that impact practical livelihoods of communities. Most recently this included working in collaboration with South Africa’s emerging arts community in the production of a concept album and documentary promoting township music entitled the “State of the Nation”. Leif has over 30 academic publications and numerous book chapters to his credit, but this is the first book that he has co-authored.

Thireshen Govender

Thireshen Govender is an architect practising and teaching in Johannesburg. Having graduated from the University of Cape Town as an architect, he trained in local practices in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Through the awarding of a Chevening Scholarship, he further advanced his studies in Urban Design at The University College of London (Bartlett) in the United Kingdom. He travelled extensively, widely informed by a keen interest on how post-traumatic cities define themselves socially and spatially. In 2008, he founded UrbanWorks Architecture & Urbanism, a design-research studio, to deepen knowledge on post-apartheid spatial practices in order develop innovative and responsive design strategies toward radical transformation in South African cities. The practice works across scales and disciplines to explore how space and design can productively play a role in urban transformation through carefully curated interventions.

Thireshen leads a design-research unit at the University of Johannesburg’s Graduate School of Architecture. The unit investigates and documents the spatial consequence of post-apartheid socioeconomic practices in architecture and urbanism. Through his practice and research, he broadcasts his findings through writing and public talks. His practice provides an experimental means to test findings and advance architectural knowledge production.

Share this

You might also consider these related books

Studying While Black

Studying while Black
Race, education and emancipation in South African universities

Between 2013 and 2017, a team of researchers from the Human Sciences Research Council undertook a longitudinal qualitative study that tracked eighty students from eight diverse universities in South Africa and documented their experiences at these higher education institutions. Midway through the study, the student protests erupted and focused national attention on many of the stories we had already heard. In the subsequent years of the study, we also heard from students who were actively involved in these transformation struggles as well as those who sat on the side-lines.

Product information

Format : 240mm x 168mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 272
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2508-4
Publish Year : March 2018
Rights : World Rights
Price R 250
2299  Large

Community, self and identity
Educating South African university students for citizenship

Education in South Africa is in crisis. Low literacy and numeracy rates, poor discipline, and a sense of despair pervade the education landscape. At the same time, educators are called upon to achieve more, with universities tasked to produce graduates capable of exercising responsible and reflective citizenship in a competitive and globalising world. However, universities face very complex demands and resource constraints. In this sobering context, this book provides an opportunity to learn from a bold experiment in teaching and learning taking place across two very different South African universities, one historically black, and one historically white and Afrikaans.

Product information

Format : 235mm x 168mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 224
ISBN 10 : 978-07969-2398-1
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2398-1
Publish Year : 2013
Rights : World Rights
Price R 250.00
Linking  Universities

Linking Universities and Marginalised Communities
South African case studies of innovation focused on livelihoods in informal settings

Linking Universities and marginalised communities examines how South African universities engage with the informal sector in marginalised communities to improve livelihoods through inclusive innovation. The knowledge imperatives of universities are explored in relation to the public good and social justice, and the roles of innovation and technology transfer. Case studies provide examples of coherence between teaching, research, innovation and community engagement, and illustrate the enablers and constraints to such interaction. These insights find policy application in the spheres of higher education, science and technology, and economic development. The analysis also provides lessons for innovation studies, pointing out the need to refine the notion of innovation so that it may be more appropriate for the developmental challenges of countries such as South Africa.

Product information

Format : 210mm x 148mm
Pages : 144
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2500-8
Publish Year : June 2015
Rights : World Rights
Price R 130.00
2076  Large

Textbooks for diverse learners
A critical analysis of learning materials used in South African schools

Textbooks and learning support materials are a critical resource for teachers. They play a vital role in shaping children's sense of themselves and the society in which they live. But to what extent do schoolbooks reflect images and representations of the diverse learners in South African schools?

Product information

Format : 210mm x 280mm
Pages : 64
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2093-1
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2093-5
Publish Year : 2005
Price R 129.00