Informal Entrepreneurship and Cross-Border Trade in Maputo, Mozambique

This report presents the results of a SAMP survey of informal entrepreneurs connected to cross-border trade between Johannesburg and Maputo in 2014. The study sought to enhance the evidence base on the links between migration and informal entrepreneurship, national and regional policy. The GIC questionnaire was administered to a sample of 403 informal traders in seven markets in Maputo. The sample was divided into three entrepreneurial categories, namely traders who travel to and from Johannesburg to buy goods in South Africa and sell them in Maputo (61% of the sample); traders who travel to and from Johannesburg to buy goods in South Africa and sell them to other informal traders in Maputo (14%); and informal traders who do not travel, but buy goods from cross-border traders for resale (29%). There were more men than women (56% to 44%) in the sample, largely because many women cross borders to buy goods while the selling of the products back home is done by their partners or sons. The predominance of women in cross-border trading has been attributed to various factors including their long history of crossing borders dating back to the early days of Mozambican independence and their experience in dealing with customs offiials and wholesale storehouse managers in Johannesburg and other South African cities.