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Do street traders have the ‘right to the city’? The politics of street trader organisations in inner city Johannesburg, post-Operation Clean Sweep

Abstract : Street trader organizations are paradoxical objects of study. Their claims resist being analyzed through the "right to the City" lens, so contested are rights to inner city spaces between multiple users, not all of them in dominant socioeconomic positions; and so ambiguous is the figure of the street trader, oppressed but also appropriating public space for profit; increasingly claiming, in neoliberalising cities, an entrepreneurial identity. In the aftermath of the 2013 'Operation Clean Sweep' (where the City of Johannesburg unsuccessfully attempted to evict street traders from its CBD), the paper unpacks the politics of street trader organizations: how they organize their constituencies, frame their claims, forge unlikely alliances and enter in divisive conflicts, in engagements with a divisive municipality.
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Contributor : Claire Bénit-Gbaffou <>
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Claire Bénit-Gbaffou. Do street traders have the ‘right to the city’? The politics of street trader organisations in inner city Johannesburg, post-Operation Clean Sweep. Third World Quarterly, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2016, 37 (6), pp.1102-1129. ⟨10.1080/01436597.2016.1141660⟩. ⟨halshs-02782445⟩

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