|dc.description.abstract||This study is done on Somali migrants participating In the informal economy of
Durban. The aim of the study is to explore their socio-economic participation, their
experiences and the prospects available to them in the informal economy of the city.
By using the ethnographic approach, the study attempts to explore the study group's
experiences as migrants in the informal economy. Findings of this research indicate
that most Somalis in Durban engage in street-trade. Following these findings, the
street-trade of Durban and Somali migrants' participation in this sector of the informal
economy, became the centre of attention in this dissertation. The study also attempts
to explore the impact of the policy environment on the Somali migrants' participation
in the informal economy of the city.
The findings of this research suggest that conditions of migration, legislative and
policy environment, and the prospect for growth, drive Somali migrants in Durban to
participate in the informal economy. Following the findings, this study also
challenges the general perception that informal economy is a survivalist strategy,
which undermines the pull-factors, such as prospects for growth and a means of
avoiding the costs of formality. This study suggests that Somali migrants perceive
their engagement in the street-trade as a means of accumulating capital in order to
move up to bigger businesses. Social capital and networks are valuable elements often
used by these migrant traders in advancing their business and sharing information
about business matters.
The study also explores the existence of symbiotic and conflictual relationships
between the locals and Somali street-traders. This relationship is noted to be one of
tension, yet with some degree of understanding which emanates from sharing a
common experience as street-traders.||en