Entrepreneurial informal businesses
in urban South Africa

September 19, 2017 | By More

One of the latest publications from our sister project SAMP, the Southern African Migration Programme, is Comparing Refugees and South Africans in the Urban Informal Sector by Jonathan Crush, Godfrey Tawodzera, Cameron McCordic and Sujata Ramachandran. This report compares the business operations of over 2,000 South Africans and refugees in the urban informal economy and systematically dispels some of the myths that have grown up around their activities.

Also from SAMP is Living With Xenophobia: Zimbabwean Informal Enterprise in South Africa by Jonathan Crush, Godfrey Tawodzera, Abel Chikanda and Daniel Tevera. This publication – SAMP 77 – examines the impact of xenophobic violence on Zimbabweans who are trying to make a living in the South African informal sector and finds that xenophobic violence has several key characteristics that put them at constant risk of losing their livelihoods and their lives. The businesses run by migrants and refugees in the informal sector are a major target of South Africa’s extreme xenophobia. Attitudinal surveys clearly show that South Africans differentiate migrants by national origin and that Zimbabweans are amongst the most disliked.

SAMP 76: Refugee Entrepreneurial Economies in Urban South Africa by Jonathan Crush, Godfrey Tawodzera, Cameron McCordic and Sujata Ramachandran addresses the question of variability in economic opportunity and entrepreneurial activity between urban environments within the same destination country – South Africa – by comparing refugee entrepreneurship in Cape Town, South Africa’s second largest city, and several small towns in the province of Limpopo.

• Download this comprehensive and wide-ranging SAMP report: Harnessing Migration for Inclusive Growth and Development in Southern Africa by Jonathan Crush, Belinda Dodson, Vincent Williams and Daniel Tevera.

“…As the primary source of income for the majority of migrant-sending households, remittance earnings are vital in enabling households to meet their basic needs. Food is the most common annual expenditure of remittance money in both male and female migrant-sending households…”


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