File picture: Mxolisi Madela

Cape Town - A total of 161 000 people in the Mother City are employed in the informal sector, making up at least 11.3 percent of the total workforce of the city, a report commissioned by the City of Cape Town, released on Monday, has found.

According to the Economic Performance Indicators for Cape Town (EPIC) report, almost 40% of informal sector workers are employed in the wholesale and retail business sector.

The report says a significant proportion of workers are also engaged in manufacturing (10,2%), construction (13,1%), financial services (10,9%) and community services (16,9%).

The EPIC report for the second quarter of 2015 underscores the contribution of the informal sector to the economy and its importance as a source of employment in Cape Town.

The City’s mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, Councillor Garreth Bloor, said in a statement that they were currently conducting round-table discussions with informal traders to work with them in finding solutions to their areas of concern.

“We have taken cognisance of concerns raised by traders and are already working on solutions to facilitate a smooth entry into the informal economy,” he said.

The EPIC report says if the informal sector was viewed as a conventional economic sector it would be the fifth largest employing sector in the city, just below manufacturing (11,96%) and above the construction sector (9,52%).