Dear Members of the Informal Economy,

Today, I stand before you as the National Chairperson of the Working Committes of the Informal Economy Development Forum (IEDF) to address a matter of utmost importance. Our country’s economy is in a state of flux, facing numerous challenges that call for innovative solutions and collaborative efforts. In this critical juncture, it is time for the informal economy to rise and take its rightful place at the table of economic discourse and decision-making.

The informal economy is a formidable force in our national economy. It is the backbone of our communities, providing livelihoods, fostering entrepreneurship, and driving local development. Despite its significant contributions, the informal economy has long been marginalised, lacking formal recognition and a voice in the corridors of power. This must change.

IEDF has created a platform where informal businesses can unite, build strong networks, and form powerful collaborations. Through the efforts of our members and partners, we have already achieved remarkable progress. However, our journey has only just begun. By coming together, we can form a strong and powerful value chain that not only benefits us but also transforms our communities.

As we face the future, I encourage every informal business to join forces under the banner of IEDF. Let us change the status quo and create opportunities and jobs for our communities. Let us demand our rightful place in the national economy and ensure that our voices are heard.

The time is now. Together, we can forge a new path, one where the informal economy is not just recognised but celebrated for its invaluable contributions. One Informal economy, one voice.


*Suzan Ntebo Mthembu* 

Chairperson, National Working Committees 

Informal Economy Development Forum (IEDF)