Zimbabwean Cross-Border Traders in Botswana and South Africa: Perspectives on SADC Regional Integration
This chapter deploys a qualitative study of informal cross-border traders (ICBTs) at the Ramokgwebana border post between Botswana and Zimbabwe (Francistown–Plumtree–Bulawayo interface) and the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe (Johannesburg–Messina–Beitbridge interface), to explore their activities and operations. It was established that ICBTs travel between these countries for the purposes of buying and selling different types of goods. Cross-border economic activities between Francistown and Plumtree and Bulawayo, and between Johannesburg and Messina and Beitbridge on the Zimbabwean side seem to be integrated economically. Consequently, the chapter argues that ICBTs constitute an important and innovative bottom-up initiative in the SADC regional integration debate. On this basis, policies that could enhance the activities of the ICBTs are advocated, so they are seen as an integral part of the regional integration project in the SADC.
KeywordsInformal cross-border traders Botswana South africa Zimbabwe
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