DOI: 10.1007/s12132-008-9033-x

Abstract: Research on the urban informal sector in Lesotho is scarce and largely descriptive, focussing on the demographic characteristics of street traders and their enterprises. Extant research has, therefore, assumed that the politics of street trading and regulation by the state, especially the eviction of street traders from the streets, do not matter.  

Drawing from research on street trading in Maseru, the capital city of Lesotho, this paper departs from the mainstream assumptions underlying past research. As its point of departure, the paper argues that behind the facade of public health and urban aesthetics as reasons for the eviction of street traders lies overt exercise of state power to protect the interests of formal sector businesses and to disguise state failure to formulate inclusive and sustainable urban policies.

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