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South Africa's informal economy employs up to 1,8-m people and generates a turnover of at least R50-bn a year, but government knows very little about what happens inside this world, which President Thabo Mbeki calls the "second economy". The Sunday Times has reported that Statistician-General Pali Lehohla plans to start fixing that next year with the first stage of a three-part national survey to establish the size and nature of the informal economy. "Our GDP data allows for the informal economy in expenditure terms, but not in terms of production.
It is not only the size of this sector that counts, but how it moves …