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Experiences and Perceptions of economically marginalised women food vendors: An exploratory study of informal food traders in Durban, South Africa.

Authors:

Sheetal Bhoola ,

University of KwaZulu-Natal, ZA
About Sheetal
Sheetal Bhoola is a Critical Food Studies Scholar ( Andrew Mellon Foundation) and adhoc lecturer based at The University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. She completed her PhD at UKZN and she holds 2 Masters Degrees in Sociology. She has been the recipient of prestigious scholarships. Her first MA degree was completed at Albert Ludwigs Universiteit, Freiburg, Germany and Jawarlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India on scholarship and the second was completed at UKZN. Her key research areas are: lifeways, food and culture (Anthropology and Sociology) and the Anthropology of Food and cuisine, tourism, food security and children's food.
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Dasarath Chetty

Durban University of Technology, ZA
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Abstract

Informal food vending has grown as a form of employment in South Africa’s cities and rural districts, particularly post 1994. For many, participating in informal food vending is the only option to earn a livelihood. The aim of this study was to describe the conditions of women who live on the margins of society and struggle as informal food vendors. Through purposive sampling, 12 qualitative in depth interviews were conducted with black African women in the Durban central business district. Findings show the majority of participants lack support from their male spouses despite the labour intensive work that they are forced to do. Unorthodox cooking skills are required to prepare meals for customers and efficiency in production and marketing is required as the sales contribute to family livelihoods. Findings highlight the abuse and exploitation these vendors are exposed to by unscrupulous municipal officials and the lack of municipal and organised labour assistance to address their economic marginalisation and social repression. This study highlights the challenges that these women face in the informal economy and their negative perceptions (as ‘foreigners’) of civic organisations in Durban, South Africa. (186 words)
How to Cite: Bhoola, S. and Chetty, D., 2022. Experiences and Perceptions of economically marginalised women food vendors: An exploratory study of informal food traders in Durban, South Africa. . Journal of Social Inclusion, 13(1), pp.25–41.
Published on 25 Aug 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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