Home Institution

Rice University

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

South Africa: Social and Political Transformation


Warwick Junction, a thriving trading hub in the inner city of Durban, has long been considered one of the best examples of collaborative urban management practices between the local government and informal traders. In a post-apartheid South Africa, there was a national desire to transform the old systems of governance, which in Warwick translated to city government institutions making an effort to include informal traders in the policymaking and management processes. This paper tracks the history of Warwick Junction, using its oppressive past to frame common perspectives of informal trade. It considers the legacy of the post-apartheid era South Africa, how it led to an effective area based management initiative, and what has transpired since. Primarily relying on interviews, it will present a variety of perspectives from a variety of stakeholders: past and present City officials, formal shopkeepers, informal traders, and leaders of local non-governmental organizations. This paper will find that the spirit of collaboration from the early period of the post-apartheid period has broken down over time. While City officials and informal traders offer different accounts, a common trend is that much work remains to be done in the Warwick area, yet the processes to complete this reform are no longer collaborative. This paper will offer some explanations for the deterioration but will ultimately suggest the need for more research regarding the management of Warwick Junction after twenty years of democratic rule.


African Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Research | Economic Policy | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Family, Life Course, and Society | Growth and Development | Inequality and Stratification | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Policy History, Theory, and Methods | Politics and Social Change | Public Affairs | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Urban Studies and Planning | Work, Economy and Organizations


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