Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic
Due to AeTs long history with the Warwick Junction community and urban planning in the area, we were inextricably drawn into a response (unfunded mandate) when the COVID-19 pandemic reached South Africa. AeTs initial interventions were reactive to the immediate needs of informal workers, however we are developing a strategic plan with the aim to urgently re-establish conducive livelihood opportunities and prioritize personal health safety in public space. Your contribution will support immediate project initiatives.
Images of Brook Street in Warwick Junction, depicts the effect of the lockdown on the informal economy, leaving markets desolate for most of the period of lockdown level 5 (left), compared to a previously ‘normal’ trading day (right).
We are also tracking the impacts of coronavirus on the informal economy. For the past few weeks, informal workers have slowly been returning to Durban’s central trading hub. Some traders who are not yet working are becoming desperate.
“we are dying from not working, as for me I don’t even know what to do at this point. I am a widow, I only rely on selling on the street.”
Even with the move to lockdown level 3, informal workers still face many challenges. With the opening of most of the economy, more commuters will be passing through Warwick Junction; this means more potential customers but also a greater possibility of exposure to the coronavirus. Striking a balance between economic and health interests is imperative.
Read our latest update Impacts of Coronavirus: Evolving challenges faced by informal workers
Image of commuters in Warwick, by Dennis Gilbert in 2019 by permission Asiye eTafuleni.