An assessment of hawking activities in Fingo village, Grahamstown

Davidson, Jean Hazell (1985) An assessment of hawking activities in Fingo village, Grahamstown. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

A number of issues in the thesis need to be clarified and will be discussed individually below. The term Third World, which is used in the thesis to describe developing countries in a disadvantageous economic position in relation to developed countries, is unsatisfactory. It is a collective term which combines countries with dissimilar cultures, ideologies and future prospects into one category (De Souza & Porter, 1974). Debate continues whether South Africa can be classified as a First or Third World country (Fair, 1982). Rogerson & Beavon (1980) indicate that South Africa can be described as dichotomous because it reflects characteristics of both First and Third World countries. In comparison De Souza & Porter (1974,1) include South Africa among the Third World countries, because four-fifths of the people have an income that is six times less than the income of the other fifth, and they live in a condition of underdevelopment. Conditions in Fingo Village resemble those described by De Souza & Porter (1974) and hence the results of the Fingo Village survey are compared with similar studies, elsewhere in the Third World. However, it would be naive to assume that Fingo Village is unaffected by development within the core regions of South Africa, which in many instances epitomize the First World. The term informal sector, used throughout the thesis, is also unsatisfactory, and debate continues as theorists attempt to find a more appropriate term. Santos (1979) indicates that the term informal sector is contentious, by placing it in single quotation marks. From the literature survey it emerged that the majority of authors did not follow Santos' convention (1979) and thus it seemed acceptable to use the term, informal sector, without placing it in single quotation marks. Chapter Two deals in-depth with the problem of defining the informal sector, and a working definition for the Fingo Village survey is presented in section 2.4.1. The informal sector embraces a wide diversity of economic activities. Due to the limited time and funds available, it was decided to isolate one aspect of this sector, namely, hawking. Sections 2.3 and 2.7 of Chapter Two indicate that hawking is an exemplary informal sector activity. All the different hawking types could not be given close attention and therefore, for practical purposes, it was decided to select one facet of hawking, namely, fruit and vegetable hawkers. Mobile fruit and vegetable hawkers were excluded from the study as it was impossible, during the mapping survey, to isolate a specific hawking site for each mobile hawker. Furthermore, a mobile hawker could easily be enumerated on more than one occasion, and hence a margin of error would automatically occur in the study. This was another reason for excluding mobile hawkers from the study and merely focusing upon static and semi-static fruit and vegetable hawkers. It is difficult to collect comprehensive quantitative data on informal sector activities (Preston-Whyte et al, 1984). The interviewer has to gain the confidence and trust of the subjects. The interviewer for the Fingo Village survey was a well known local personality and a man of some standing in the Black community. Daniel Sandi was the Secretary, of the Grahamstown Association (GRACA), which was reputed to have the support of the majority of the Black residents in Grahamstown until it was banned under the State of Emergency in July 1985. Daniel Sandi was also known for his contribution in literary circles as an epic poet. His previous experience conducting socio-economic surveys, as a researcher for the Border Council of Churches and as the Teba Research Assistant for the Institute of Social and Economic Research, Rhodes University, was also helpful. Sporadic unrest in the study area, from September 1984 and throughout 1985, prevented further fieldwork from being conducted in Fingo Village.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Peddling, South Africa, Informal sector
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Geography
ID Code:2386
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:25 Jan 2012 06:57
Last Modified:25 Jan 2012 06:57
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