The informal sector in the Eastern Cape : a case study of New Brighton and Kwamagxaki, Port Elizabeth

Sofisa, Thembela Nicholas (1991) The informal sector in the Eastern Cape : a case study of New Brighton and Kwamagxaki, Port Elizabeth. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

Recently, researchers have shown enormous interest in the informal sector due to extensive poverty and rising unemployment trend in the South African economy. These problems have worsened in the Port Elizabeth economy, as most entrepreneurs have scaled down their operations or liquidated their businesses due to a structural decline in the manufacturing sector and periodic recessions in the national economy. Undoubtedly, the informal sector has become a reasonable economic alternative as far as income accumulation and employment generation. The present study shows that the informal sector is characterised mainly by self-employment and also the income from this sector has also improved the standard of living of most sampled households in New Brighton and KwaMagxaki. The aim of this thesis, then, is to evaluate the nature, extent, meaning and influence of the informal sector in the Port Elizabeth Black economy. However, this can only be achieved once the informal sector is placed within the appropriate theoretical framework. This is done by comparing and contrasting the different conceptualisations of the informal sector in the literature. In conclusion, the thesis combines the different conceptualisations of the informal sector in the literature with the empirical evidence from the Port Elizabeth townships' informal sector. The important findings of the study are: The informal sector is mainly characterised by distributive activities than productive activities. Women comprised 62% of the informal sector. Economically-active members of the economy are in the informal sector. Education levels in this sector are relatively low. The informal sector is characterised by one-man businesses with few employees who are also family members. There was no trace of migrants in the informal sector. The informal sector is characterised by linkages. Informal income alleviates conditions of poverty. Policies have to implemented for the development of the informal sector. Twenty-three percent of the households in New Brighton were in the informal sector and only 6% in KwaMagxaki. Although, this study focuses in Port Elizabeth, it is the intention that the results presented will provide a broad overview of what the informal sector is.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Informal sector, South Africa, Port Elizabeth, New Brighton, Self-employed
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Commerce > Economics and Economic History
ID Code:2404
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:25 Jan 2012 06:46
Last Modified:25 Jan 2012 06:46
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