Pernicious assimilation: reframing the integration of the urban informal economy in Southern Africa

Kamete, A. Y. (2018) Pernicious assimilation: reframing the integration of the urban informal economy in Southern Africa. Urban Geography, 39(2), pp. 167-189. (doi:10.1080/02723638.2017.1298219)

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This paper argues that many of the official attempts to “integrate” the urban informal economy into the mainstream economy are fundamentally flawed. An unpacking of the “integrative” agenda as pursued by planning and other governmental practices reveals that “integration”, as currently practiced, does not herald the mainstreaming of the informal economy. Drawing on research in Zimbabwe and evidence from other countries in Southern Africa, I argue that what we witness is a sinister stripping away of the lifeblood of informality. This malicious form of integration entails crippling Faustian bargains. In the end, this pernicious assimilation insidiously does away with that which makes informality a livelihood haven for the majority of urbanites. I conclude that the duplicitous integration is unworkable and leaves the big questions of inclusion untouched, hence the persistence of the “problem” of informality.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kamete, Dr Amin
Authors: Kamete, A. Y.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Research Group:Governance, Space and Place
Journal Name:Urban Geography
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1938-2847
Published Online:10 March 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
First Published:First published in Governance, Space and Place 39(2):167-189
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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