Trade dynamics in Cape Town township informal foodservice – A qualitative and supply chain study
Petersen, Leif M
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The township cash economy of fast food, takeaways, and prepared meals is collectively termed ‘informal foodservice’. An analysis of a five-township ∼3800 microenterprise census, and qualitative supply chain investigation of 50 informal foodservice retailers and 75 consumers revealed a well-established although deeply informal trade predominated by women preparing takeaway foods and conducting street braai (BBQ). The business demonstrates high dependence on the immediate place of operations which includes local input suppliers and selling to a narrow pool of trade from immediate (walking scale) neighbourhoods. Supply chains are short, linked to formal agriculture and wholesale sectors. Informal foodservice is heavily utilised by local residents on a regular basis who spend up to R218 per week on products (potentially 30% of income) from these outlets. These enterprises make a substantial contribution towards satisfying local food demand whilst serving an important social protection and neighbourhood relationship function.