English: A small income and the limited ability of the government and the formal business sector
to provide sufficient employment opportunities to people in the economically active age
categories are two of the main reasons for informal trading in South African cities. As a
result, the informal street trading sector plays an important role in providing a security net for
millions of the unemployed in the South African economy. However, informal street trading
is not without problems. The aim of this article is to report on some of the opportunities and
constraints faced by informal street traders in the central business districts (CBDs) of the four
main metropolitan areas of South Africa.