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Growth by dispossession

Marooned on a legal no man’s land, the surge in informal economies underscores the hidden hand of market forces in underwriting the extra-legal realm of growth, writes Malcolm Ray

08 May 2022 - 00:00 By Malcolm Ray

After days of rain, a mid-morning shaft of sunlight breaks into the gloom of the airless fifth-floor room of a rundown building in Commissioner Street, Johannesburg. Some of those in the room are homeless squatters, and most of the others are informal seamsters. The seamsters and squatters share a kinship: the latter get casual work for a pittance, the former are cheap labour...

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