Informal Cities


The Growing Informal Cities (GIC) project focuses on informality and migrant entrepreneurship. With high rates of formal unemployment, the informal economy has emerged as a major source of income and livelihoods for poor urban households. Migrants play a critical role in the informal economy, yet the importance of that role is invisible to researchers and policy-makers. 

The purpose of the GIC is to examine and profile the "hidden" role of migrant informal entrepreneurship in different Southern African cities. Most migrant entrepreneurs are local but they structure their businesses around the opportunities afforded by cross-border migration to and from South Africa. 

During the making of this project, xenophobic attacks  flared up across South Africa. Included in this series are portraits of shop owners and workers who have been affected. 

click images to view in full screen