Tracking and unpacking the impact of Covid-19 on informal food traders in South Africa

  • Siyabonga Lloyd Duma Durban University of Technology, South Africa
  • Reward Utete University of Zululand, Richards Bay, South Africa
Keywords: COVID-19, informal food traders, loss of income, deterioration of health, South Africa


In developing economies like South Africa, the informal traders account for more than half of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 70% of the employment. The primary objective of this conceptual paper is to establish the extent to which the socio-economic aspects of informal food traders have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with special attention given to South Africa. Desktop research was adopted as the methodological approach in the form of literature review taking lens of qualitative-interpretative research paradigm. The study demonstrates that COVID-19 pandemic had huge adverse impact on informal food traders. Hence, this study plays an integral role to inform government about the integrated responses from the informal traders in respect of the pandemic and policies implemented. The study also provides amicable insights and recommendations regarding disruptions aligned to incomes, food demand, food trade and supply chains of food particularly among vulnerable and poor fragments of the South African population, posed by future pandemic of the same or similar nature.


JEL Classification: M31, M38, M30


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How to Cite
Duma, S. and Utete, R. (2023) “Tracking and unpacking the impact of Covid-19 on informal food traders in South Africa”, Management and Entrepreneurship: Trends of Development, 1(23), pp. 21-27. doi: