The informal economy contributes about 5.2% to SA’s GDP and employs more than 2.6-million people, many of them women. Spaza shops alone contribute millions a year to the national fiscus. Why then are these economic contributors so often overlooked by the government, receiving little support and inclusion in the greater economy?

This has been particularly apparent during the Covid-19 pandemic. While formal small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) received stimulus packages and the government put measures in place to help prevent businesses having to close down, with the loss of jobs, the informal economy was largely ignored, compounding the negative effect on the most vulnerable of our society...

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