This paper explores whether street traders in Johannesburg's inner city use their citizenship rights to organise and try to influence public policies that affect them. It examines the factors which have encouraged or impeded collective action, including government policies and the internal organisation of traders' associations as well as external factors. The literature on associational life in the informal economy suggests that there are many obstacles to effective organisation of the urban poor, and the experience of street traders in Johannesburg supports this view. But it also suggests that there may be more potential for collective action than is often recognised.
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Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies, 2 pp.