Assessing the role of street traders' organisations in empowering street traders in Durban-CBD.
Whether in the rich Western countries, or the Southern Hemisphere developing countries, street trading is a socio-economic phenomenon which provides employment to millions of poor and marginalised communities, allowing them to survive despite socio-economic and political constraints. Well aware that their empowerment cannot come or be initiated except by themselves, they find in organising an empowerment will-power which triggers collective action toward influencing change of institutional practices and processes which often marginalise and put them under unnecessary pressure. In this environment, street traders’ organisations’ role tends to be limited to meeting the direct causes of their current concerns as crises arise and therefore leave in the oblivion deep causes which lead to their marginalisation. Weakened by their constituencies’ economic situation, they often fall into fatalism and often become easy-targets and victims of non-inclusive municipal processes. By organising and building strong organisations they are likely to emancipate themselves from exploitative practices and processes and to claim a share in matters concerning their interests as equal stakeholders without any discrimination or exploitation but for the sake of empowering disadvantaged communities. Therefore the choice of this study was instructed by the feeling that empowered street traders’ organisations in Durban-CBD can play a major role towards the integration of street traders in the city socio-economic framework.