The Socio-Economic Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic and its Impact on the South African Informal Economy




COVID-19, socio-economic impact, informal sector, South Africa


The informal business sector in many developing economies is often seen as a driver of economic growth due to the role that this sector plays in the creation of employment opportunities, increasing the social activities of its communities, and providing business opportunities for rural entrepreneurs. The informal economy has been known to be insulated from macro-economic volatility in the global markets, but this could be an oversight on the part of the national government as they have not taken this sector into account when determining GDP or strategic imperatives to bolster the economy. The COVID-19 pandemic showcased how unprepared many economies were in the face of harsh government-imposed lockdowns and the resultant job losses that occurred due to individuals being unable to go to work. The South African government, whilst acknowledging the informal sector and the subsequent economic and social role it plays, lacks the necessary policy framework and enablement of this sector, as well as a platform that enables the continuation of business practices for informal traders that will protect them from the daunting impacts of a pandemic or another global catastrophe. The purpose of this study is to comprehend and analyse the socio-economic ramifications of the COVID-19 epidemic and its impact on the informal economy in South Africa. To do so, the study utilises discourse analysis and which is carried out using a secondary data collection approach. Theses for master's and doctoral degrees, papers presented at conferences, policy documents, government gazettes, statistical data from governments, and reports from international organizations are all taken into consideration. Articles published in scientific journals that have been subject to the process of peer review are also taken into account. According to the findings of the study, in order to protect the informal sector from unforeseen disasters in the future, it is recommended that policies and protection mechanisms be put into place.


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How to Cite

Langry, F. and Rena, R. (2023) “The Socio-Economic Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic and its Impact on the South African Informal Economy”, African Journal of Inter/Multidisciplinary Studies, 5(1), pp. 1–12. doi: 10.51415/ajims.v5i1.1181.

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