The vulnerability of day labourers in South Africa and the role of community development in an integrated approach to achieving sustainable livelihoods
Poverty and unemployment are significant barriers to growth in South Africa and are reflected in low levels of income and high levels of unemployment and human deprivation. Rising unemployment is forcing the majority of deprived people to venture into a variety of survival activities such as day labouring in the informal sector of the South African economy, to eke out a meagre livelihood. As the vulnerability of day labourers in South Africa is socially and economically unjust, the main thrust of this article concerns the role of community development in an integrated approach to achieving sustainable livelihoods for South African day labourers. This article takes the form of a review of relevant available literature to provide a coherent account of the vulnerable circumstances of day labourers in South Africa. The inevitable conclusion that can be drawn from the review is that the hardships to which day labourers and their families are subjected, as a consequence of the nature of their work and the poor remuneration that it generates, when they are able to secure a day’s work, effectively condemn them to being obliged to cope in circumstances that could best be described as untenable.