National Director: Informal Economy Support

Are you currently unemployed; have you been unfairly dismissed or are you facing the possibility of being retrenched by the company?

These are some of the prevalent issues affecting many workers in today’s economy which is plagued by rates of high unemployment. The ability to earn an income is an essential right for many as it provides financial security and autonomy. When that right is taken away it can cause devastating financial setbacks on a household, as was evident during the COVID-19 pandemic where the economic effects thereof were felt most by South Africa’s most vulnerable groups. Many people lost their jobs and as a result, families suffered huge losses of income.

Informal Economy Leaders would like to hear from our readers about any issues of concern or burning questions that they might have with the introduction of a monthly segment titled, Labour Talk with IEDF National Director of Informal Economy Support, Paul Bester. Labour Talk aims to bring labour-related topics to the fore. This month’s topic of discussion is employment – different types of employment and what they mean.

Within the formal economy, there are two types of employment, namely part-time/full-time employment and contract work. Formal employment is usually characterised by the payment of salary or wages; the provision of benefits and clearly defined working hours. Workers within the formal economy pay towards the UIF and, depending on their contributions, could have access to a pension and medical aid fund. Income taxes are also general deducted.

Informal economy workers usually find work wherever it is available and are not hired based on an established working agreement. Those who work within the informal sector are often hired temporarily, have little to no job security and do not receive benefits. Furthermore, the informal economy is riddled with other challenges such as poor governance; limited social protection; excessive laws and regulations and discrimination among others.

These are some of the major issues affecting the economy and we would like to address them in our monthly discussions. We urge our readers to submit their experiences, inputs and questions to us on: or send a WhatsApp to 061 547 5879

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