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 : February 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.

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