The biggest victims of this privilege-preservation machine are those born into poverty. They are overwhelmingly black South Africans. Those not lucky enough to be part of families working in the civil service or the few chosen to be part of corporate South Africa are locked out in what we call the informal sector. They lack not only capital and earning power, but the mechanisms for building sufficient trust within relevant quarters of society to generate economic opportunities. They are thus forced to live in a marginalised state of subsistence commerce.

The informal sector generates the majority of new jobs in South Africa. For example, the informal food sector is a R400-billion market, making up 40% of the food sector. The informal sector is chiefly responsible for any semblance of socioeconomic stability. Yet we don't think of the entrepreneurs in this sector as "normal" business people. They are. On average, 63.7% of general dealers have been in existence for more than five years, compared with 36% for spazas and 19% for hawkers.

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