IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Globalisation and poverty: impacts on households of employment and restructuring in the textiles industry of South Africa

Listed author(s):
  • Andries Bezuidenhout

    (Sociology of Work Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)

  • Grace Khunou

    (Sociology of Work Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)

  • Sarah Mosoetsa

    (Sociology of Work Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)

  • Kirsten Sutherland

    (School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)

  • John Thoburn

    (School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)

Registered author(s):

    This paper addresses an important but often neglected theme in debates on globalisation-the consequences for workers of engagement in global markets, particularly for those workers who are retrenched in the process. Using the South African textiles industry as a case study, the paper investigates the impact on workers' household livelihoods of industrial restructuring following trade liberalisation in the 1990s. Interviews with textile workers and retrenched textile workers were conducted in five locations in three provinces-the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal-in order to capture different local dynamics. Workers employed in textiles generally enjoy a relatively stable formal sector wage, which, though less than the manufacturing average, is well above the national poverty line. However, the benefits were not evenly spread between the regions and job insecurity has been increasing. Workers retrenched from textile employment have faced extreme difficulties in a country with exceptionally high levels of open unemployment, and many families have fallen into deep poverty, which may now be transmitted intergenerationally. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 545-565

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:19:y:2007:i:5:p:545-565
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1308
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Aliber, Michael, 2003. "Chronic Poverty in South Africa: Incidence, Causes and Policies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 473-490, March.
    2. L. Alan Winters & Neil McCulloch & Andrew McKay, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty: The Evidence So Far," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 72-115, March.
    3. Lawrence Edwards, 2004. "A firm level analysis of trade, technology and employment in South Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 45-61.
    4. Simon Roberts & John T. Thoburn, 2004. "Globalization and the South African textiles industry: impacts on firms and workers," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 125-139.
    5. Moser, Caroline O. N., 1998. "The asset vulnerability framework: Reassessing urban poverty reduction strategies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-19, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:19:y:2007:i:5:p:545-565. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    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.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.