‘Jeppe’—Where Low-End Globalisation, Ethnic Entrepreneurialism and the Arrival City Meet
- 400 Downloads
Over the last decade, thousands of Ethiopians have migrated to South Africa. Many have established or worked in retail businesses in a high-rise district of the inner city of Johannesburg. Here they have incrementally created a retail enclave. The little known ‘Ethiopian Quarter’—otherwise known as ‘Jeppe’—is an intense retail space selling cheap Chinese merchandise to customers from surrounding townships, from rural South Africa and from sub-Saharan Africa. No formal planning addresses this economic activity and in spite of the speed and intensity with which the scale of retail has escalated over the last decade, it is not recognised as a permanent feature of the city centre. Its existence is made possible in a unique nexus of economic and spatial factors. The elements of low-end globalisation, ethnic entrepreneurialism, Johannesburg’s role as a port of entry for migrants and the spatial configuration of the precinct contrive in particular ways to produce this burgeoning transnational and globalised micro-economy that is dramatically shifting the face of retail in Johannesburg’s inner city.
KeywordsJeppe Inner-city Johannesburg Ethiopians Low-end globalisation Spatial configuration Informal trader spaces
This research is funded by Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO) as part of a research project on the urban space economy of the Gauteng City-Region.
- Appadurai, A. (2004). The capacity to aspire: culture and the terms of recognition. In V. Rao & M. Walton (Eds.), Culture and public action (pp. 59–84). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Auster, E., & Aldrich, H. (1984). Small business vulnerability, ethnic enterprise and ethnic enclaves. In R. Ward & R. Jenkins (Eds.), Ethnic communities in business: strategies for economic survival (pp. 39–56). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Basch, L. G., Glick Schilier, N., & Blanc-Szanton, C. (1994). Nations unbound: transnational projects, post-colonial predicaments, and de-territorialized nation-states. Langhorne: Gordon and Breach.Google Scholar
- Beavon, K. (2004). Johannesburg: the making and shaping of the city. Pretoria: UNISA Press.Google Scholar
- Brenner, L. (2010). Writing the city into being: essays on Johannesburg 1998–2008. Johannesburg: Fourthwall Books.Google Scholar
- City of Johannesburg (2010). Westgate station precinct spatial development framework and implementation plan. http://www.joburg-archive.co.za/2011/inner_city/westgate/sdf_plan_analysis_economy.pdf. Accessed 19 December 2012.
- Crush, J., & Williams, V. (2005). International migration and development: dynamics and challenges in South and Southern Africa. United Nations Expert Group Meeting on International Migration and Development. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
- Hassim, S., Kupe, T., & Worby, E. (Eds.). (2008). Go home or die here: violence, xenophobia and the reinvention of difference in South Africa. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.Google Scholar
- Herbots, P., Lenaerts, T., Verhaegen, A., Le Roux, H., De Meulder, B., & Heynen, H. (2012). Radical re-use. Intersections of migrant agency and modernist space in Johannesburg. Boundaries, 5, 72–77.Google Scholar
- Kaplan, D. H., & Li, W. (2006). Landscapes of the ethnic economy. Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers Inc.Google Scholar
- Kesper, A. (2003). Making a living in the city: the case of clothing manufacturers. In R. Tomlinson, R. Beauregard, L. Bremmer, & X. Mangcu (Eds.), Emerging Johannesburg: perspectives on the postapartheid city. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Landau, L., & Jacobsen, K. (2004). Refugees in the new Johannesburg: unfamiliar with hosting refugees, South Africa is struggling to come to terms with their arrival. Forced Migration Review, 19.Google Scholar
- Landau, L., & Wa Kabwe-Segatti, A. (2009). Human development impacts of migration: South Africa case study. United Nations Development Programme Human Development Reports Research Paper 2009/05.Google Scholar
- Le Roux, H. (2009). Coffee manifesto: sampling instant and slow spaces in the African city. African Perspectives. http://web.up.ac.za/sitefiles/file/44/1068/3229/9086/African%20Perspectives/PDF/Papers/le%20roux.pdf. Accessed 30 December 2012.
- Light, I., & Karageorgis, S. (1994). The ethnic economy. In N. J. Smelser & R. Swedberg (Eds.), The handbook of economic sociology (pp. 647–669). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Mathews, G. (2011). The mall of the world. Foreign Policy. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/11/21/the_mall_of_the_world. Accessed 16 December 2012.
- Mathews, G., & Yang Yang, N. (2012). How Africans pursue low-end globalization in Hong Kong and mainland China. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 41(2), 95–120.Google Scholar
- Mbembe, A., & Nuttall, S. (Eds.). (2008). Johannesburg: the elusive metropolis. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.Google Scholar
- McFarlane, C. (2011). Assemblage and critical urbanism, city: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 15:2, 204–224, doi: 10.1080/13604813.2011.568715
- Murray, M. J. (2008). Taming the disorderly city: the spatial landscape of Johannesburg after apartheid. New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- Peberdy, S., & Rogerson, C. (2000). Transnationalism and non-South African entrepreneurs in South Africa’s small, medium and micro-enterprise (SMME).Google Scholar
- Portes, A. (1997). Globalization from below: the rise of transnational communities. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Rogerson, C. M. (2002). Urban economic restructuring: the changing SMME economy of inner-city Johannesburg. In R. Donaldson & L. Marais (Eds.), Transforming rural and urban spaces in South Africa during the 1990s—reform, restitution, restructuring (pp. 333–360). Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa.Google Scholar
- Saunders, D. (2011). Arrival city. London: Windmill Books.Google Scholar
- Schaefer, C. (2011). Ethiopia’s transformation: authoritarianism and economic development. World Politics Review http://relooney.info/0_NS4053_1988.pdf. Accessed 10 October 2012.
- Thompson, D.K. (2012). Bridging the divided city: immigrant economies and the ethics of spatial organization in Johannesburg. Unpublished MA thesis, Geography, University of Miami.Google Scholar
- Tomlinson, R., & Rogerson, C.M. (1999). An economic development strategy for Johannesburg. Prepared as part of the UNDP City Consultation Process on behalf of the Inner City Section 59 Committee, Johannesburg.Google Scholar
- Wilson, K., & Portes, A. (1980). Immigrant enclaves: an analysis of the labor market experience of Cubans in Miami. The American Journal of Sociology, 86(2).Google Scholar
- Winkler. (2012). Why won’t downtown Johannesburg ‘Regenerate’? Reassessing Hillbrow as a case example. Urban Forum, 24(33), 309–324.Google Scholar
- Zack, T. (2013). Seeking logic in the chaos precinct—‘Jeppe’. In E. Pieterse & A. Simone (Eds.), Rogue urbanism: emergent African cities (pp. 283–291). Johannesburg: Jacana Media & African Centre for Cities.Google Scholar
- Zhou, M. (2004b). The enclave economy and community building: Chinatown and Koreatown in Los Angeles. Paper presented at the Pacific Rim Research Conference, Hong Kong.Google Scholar