On Monday 15 May, SERI researcher Kelebogile Khunou attended the South African Cities Network’s workshop entitled, 'Developing a Policy and Regulatory Framework for Township Development'. The workshop was hosted in partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Government and North West University’s Chair for Cities, Law and Environmental Sustainability (CLES). The venue for the workshop was held at a successful “shisanyama”, Busy Corner Imbizo African Restaurant in Tembisa. The workshop was attended by over 50 participants with government officials from the Gauteng Office of the Premier, the Gauteng Department of Economic Development and officials from Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni local government departments such as Economic Development, Spatial Planning and Human Settlements. They were joined by academics and students from CLES.
The workshop consisted of a context and objective setting session by Jak Koseff from the Gauteng Office of the Premier and an interactive ideation session where all workshop participants were asked to share their understanding of township economic development, to identify key issues and challenges as well as propose solutions for these issues. The main event consisted of a panel discussion which included Professor Anel Du Plessis, Chair for CLES, Ms. Rita Zwane, founder and owner of Busy Corner, Mr. Thulani Guliwe from the Gauteng Department of Economic Development and Mr. Makgafela Thaba from the City of Johannesburg’s Public Safety Department. A highlight from the panel discussion was Ms. Zwane’s impactful story of her journey as a township entrepreneur, her challenges with respect to rezoning applications, accessing financial assistance and other barriers to running a successful business in the township.
In June 2018, SERI developed a discussion document entitled Towards Recommendations on the Regulation of Informal Trade at Local Government Level, which has a particular focus on a segment of the informal economy in townships, informal trading. The discussion document aims to provide assistance to the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and municipalities throughout the country to encourage a better understanding of the legal and constitutional obligations of local government in formulating and implementing municipal by-laws governing informal trade. It also builds on the International Labor Organization (ILO)’s Recommendation 204 on formalizing informal work, by aiming to improve the legal and policy framework governing informal trade.
The document also sets out a number of recommendations or proposals to assist municipalities to formulate or update their by-laws, adopt policies and oversee the actions of their officials who are responsible for enforcing the by-laws or policies governing informal trade. The majority of the proposals made have been developed from the rights contained in the Constitution, other national laws and policies, and the decisions of South African courts.