Exploring the Dangerous Disconnect Between Perspectives, Planning, Policy, and Practice Towards Informal Traders in Durban, South Africa


While cities pursue recognition on the global scale, low-income populations are often negatively impacted by urban growth. Informal workers in Durban, South Africa have fallen victim to this trend, as the municipality’s focus shifts to drawing international investment and cleaning up the city. In this article, I explore the question: How do municipal employee perspectives, current planning and policy documents, and current practice in the city align regarding treatment of informal traders in Durban, South Africa? I find a disconnect between current well-intended perspectives and planning with policy and its enforcement in practice. This disconnect must be addressed to protect informal traders in Durban.

About the Author

Danielle DeVries is a Master’s of Urban Studies student at Simon Fraser University, where she previously completed a BSc Honours in Health and the Built Environment and a Sustainable Community Development Certificate. She worked for the eThekwini Municipality in urban management from October 2016 – April 2017 through a Government of Canada International Youth Internship.