EnglishShow more Special senses of general English informal not according to order, not observing forms.
1. Of economic and business activity:
a. In the special collocation informal sector, a euphemism for those (such as street traders and hawkers) involved in tax-free trading not covered by normal business legislation; that part of the economy to which such traders belong.Cf. formal sector (see formal sense 1 b). See also spaza.
1984Probe Nov. 20They are the street traders — those people forced onto the streets to earn a living. They include hawkers of all goods and are referred to in more fine intellectual language..as the informal sector.
1991S. Afr. Panorama Jan.–Feb. 4The informal sector flourishes in Hillbrow, bringing to the pavements everything from apples to oil paintings.
1991Bulletin (Centre for Science Dev.) Mar. 6Many early studies of the informal sector suggest that it might provide an adequate and secure alternative income to employment...People enter the informal sector out of necessity rather than from choice.
a. Of settlements (frequently in the collocation informal settlement): erected in an unregulated and unplanned manner upon unproclaimed land, with no infrastructure provided by the local authority.See also shackland.
1989OptimaVol.37No.1, 19Informal settlement is a generic term used to describe a wide variety of different forms of shelter. Informal settlers differ in respect of the length of time they have been in their present location..; the size of their settlement; their location..;..the nature of their shack (corrugated iron, breeze block, lean-to against a formal house)...The Urban Foundation estimates that the number of urban people living in informal circumstances is some seven million. Throughout the country formal black residential areas are overcrowded and further population growth..will have to be accommodated mainly in free standing informal settlements.
1991T. Van der Walt inSunday Times 10 Mar. 7Mr P— is able to pinpoint every informal settlement in the Durban area.
b. Of housing: owner-built, made of a variety of unsubstantial materials.Cf. formal sense 2.
1991A. Benjamin inDaily News 26 Mar. 26Less formal townships are in fact squatter communities (‘informal housing’ and ‘orderly urbanisation’ are the other ways of putting it).
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