Planning and informal food traders under COVID-19 – the South African case

Vanessa Watson and Caroline Skinner have contributed an article to the forthcoming issue of Town Planning ReviewPlanning and informal food traders under COVID-19: the South African case outlines the scale and nature of the informal food economy in South Africa and then considers the impact of lockdown regulations on informal traders as well as on their suppliers and transporters. They argue that this, combined with attempts to formalise informal traders and exclude immigrants, has exacerbated the food crisis in the country. Given the critical role informal food traders play in feeding poorer communities and generating jobs, it is essential that state actions protect and enhance their operation. This is the case not only for those involved in final food supply to consumers, but for the entire food system which involves activities from ‘farm to fork’. They offer suggestions on short- and long-term health-related, regulatory, spatial and financial interventions that reduce the risks and capitalise on the opportunities of informal food trade.