Development of Philippi Informal Trading Strategy

Lead: Dr Andrew Charman Project manager: Kayla Brown Funders: City of Cape Town

The aim of this project, a partnership between SLF and PEDI, is to contribute towards formulating a street trader plan for the /business hub precinct in Philippi, in order to accommodate, diversify and upscale informal trading activities and create a vibrant economic centre.

The Philippi industrial area is undergoing significant social, economic and structural changes. Amongst these are the establishment, by the City of Cape Town, of Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) infrastructure to connect Philippi to the City’s commercial districts. This development will impact the local economy, particularly the micro-enterprises and street traders who occupy sidewalks and street fronts along the intended BRT routes within the area. Given these changes and the uncertainty generated by them, there is now an opportune moment to think about infrastructure which enhances opportunities to support micro-enterprise growth and development in Philippi. Because of the catalytic infrastructure projects earmarked for Philippi (the BRT), now is an excellent (and unavoidable) moment to consider the development of an informal trading strategy for Philippi.

PEDI was established in 1999, to facilitate job creation and reduce poverty in Philippi. One of their recent causes has been lobbying (successfully) for the establishment of a new access road between Philippi industrial area and the N2 highway, the construction of which is now underway. The development of the Philippi Informal Trading Plan aligns with PEDI’s aim of promoting private investment in Philippi and supporting socio-economic development initiatives. SLF has a core interest in supporting township micro-entrepreneurship as a means of eradicating poverty. We take the view that the growth and development of informal micro-enterprises is central to the revitalisation and strengthening of township economies. SLF thus has a strategic interest to partner with PEDI to promote the development of informal micro-enterprises in Philippi.


The core project outcome is a strategy and plan for the spatial inclusion of existing micro-enterprises/informal traders in the Philippi precinct. The plan will focus on the area bounded by Govan Mbeki Road, New Eisleben, Sheffield Road, and Stock Roads. The plan will be presented in a succinct document, as well as a visual presentation The plan will include two sub-components: first, an analysis of the current micro-enterprise situation within the precinct; second, a risk assessment of the potential impact of infrastructure development on street trading and informal micro-enterprises. The risk assessment will include an assessment of the potential impact of policy barriers, including land use management systems and by-laws.

The project will include the following core components:

  • Establishment of a project management system, reporting structure and partnership agreements;
  • Mobilise technical resources, documents, datasets and plans;
  • Analyse PEDI data on informal micro-enterprise activities;
  • Conduct an investigation of existing uses of infrastructure and space;
  • Investigate land availability for informal trade within the precinct;
  • Asses potential development impacts;
  • Assess policy and regulatory constraints;
  • Produce a written report and visual aids;
  • Engage with stakeholders on advancing the plan.


The project start date is 1 May 2017. The project aims to run until 2018.

Funders & Partners