Exploring the risks and resilience experienced by day labourers at a hiring site in Cape Town
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Although the practice of day labouring can be traced back for centuries, it has become a steadily growing global phenomenon and has significant implications for the populations and economies of both developed and developing countries. In South Africa, the day labour market serves as a catchment area for the fallout from a formal economy which is unable to provide employment to all South Africans. The day labourers are often excluded from the benefits of modern societies, such as access to social services, opportunities for employment, and adequate incomes. This study took the form of a qualitative case study and made use of an ethnographic research design. The qualitative data was collected through the conducting of semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and by making use of photovoice, while the quantitative data was generated through the administration of a questionnaire. The triangulation of several sets of data ensured the trustworthiness of the findings. The research population for the study comprised the day labourers who gathered at a particular hiring site in Cape Town. The qualitative data was analysed by means of thematic analysis, while the quantitative data was analysed by means of the SPSS software package to generate descriptive statistics, which were represented graphically in the findings in the form of pie charts and bar graphs. Although there were inherent limitations in the data which was obtained, it nevertheless provided valuable insights into the plight of day labourers in South Africa.