Tracking and unpacking the impact of Covid-19 on informal food traders in 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
Alon, T., Kim, M., Lagakos, D., & VanVuren, M. (2020). How should policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic differ in the developing world? (No. w27273). National Bureau of Economic Research.
Babalola, M.A., Mcata, B., & Maila, M. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on informal food traders in SA. Retrieved from http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/review/hsrc-review-march-2021/impact-of-covid19-on-informal-food-traders.
Benhabib, S., & Linden-Retek, P. (2018). Judith Shklar's Critique of Legalism. The Cambridge Companion to the Rule of Law (J Meierhenrich & M Loughlin, eds), Forthcoming.
Chauke, T.A., & Chinyakata, R. (2020). The Effects of the Covid-19 Outbreak on the Positive Development of Young People in Malamulele, South Africa. The Thinker, 84(2), 70-75. doi.org/10.36615/thethinker.v84i2.298.
Doss, C., Njuki, J., & Mika, H. (2020). The potential intersections of Covid-19, gender and food security in Africa. Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security, 5(1),1-5. Doi:10.19268/JGAFS.512020.4
Montalvao, J., & Van-de-Velde, P. (2020). COVID-19 and Food Security : Gendered Dimensions. World Bank, Washington, DC. Retrieved from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/33813 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
Ntaka, M.N. (2018). Assessing the extent of informal markets integration into spatial planning frameworks: A case study of KwaMashu, eThekwini Municipality. University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Parry, B.R., & Gordon, E. (2021). The shadow pandemic: Inequitable gendered impacts of COVID‐19 in South Africa. Gender, Work & Organization, 28(2), 795-806. doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12565
Petersen, L., & Charman, A. (2018). The role of family in the township informal economy of food and drink in KwaMashu, South Africa. International journal of sociology and social policy, 38(7-8), 564-577. doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-06-2017-0068.
Shumba, K., Nyamaruze, P., Nyambuya, V.P., & Meyer-Weitz, A. (2020). Politicising the COVID-19 Pandemic in Zimbabwe: Implications for Public Health and Governance. African Journal of Governance & Development, 9(1.1), 270-286. https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/jgd/article/view/1807
Skinner, C., & Watson, V. (2020). Planning and informal food traders under COVID-19: the South African case. Town Planning Review, 1(1), 1-7. doi.org/10.3828/tpr.2020.38
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). (2019). Informal Cross Border Trade for Empowerment of Women, Economic Development and Regional Integration in Eastern and Southern Africa. Retrieved from https://unctad.org/en/Pages/DITC/Gender-and-Trade/Gender-Project-1617J.aspx.
Wegerif, M.C. (2020). Informal food traders and food security: experiences from the Covid-19 response in South Africa. Food Security, 12(4), 797-800. doi.org/10.1007/s12571-020-01078-z