IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Crafting a livelihood: local-level trade in mats and baskets in Pondoland, South Africa


  • Zwoitwa Makhado
  • Thembela Kepe


The contribution of natural resources to the livelihoods of the rural poor is widely acknowledged, yet not much is known about trade in these resources. This article investigates local-level trade in plant-based mats and baskets in Khanyayo Village, Pondoland, Eastern Cape, focusing on the social aspects of harvesting, resource tenure and trade in Cyperus textilis and products made from it. It explores the way the mat and basket trade contributes to the livelihoods of the rural poor and argues that crafting is mainly the domain of very poor or widowed women, who use it to supplement their diverse and multiple livelihood strategies. Although its cash contribution to the total household income is minimal, crafting is seen by local people as extremely important. However, mat and basket traders face a number of internal and external struggles, which must be understood by policy makers if crafting is to contribute to the fight against poverty in rural areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Zwoitwa Makhado & Thembela Kepe, 2006. "Crafting a livelihood: local-level trade in mats and baskets in Pondoland, South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 497-509.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:23:y:2006:i:4:p:497-509
    DOI: 10.1080/03768350600927250

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:23:y:2006:i:4:p:497-509. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.