"Small traders are much more aligned to needs of the communities"

The Competition Commission hearings started yesterday looking into the impact of big supermarket chains on the grocery sector.

With testimony from traders and bakeries in township areas, it's emerged that as the supermarket chains have entered this market, township traders have lost huge amounts of business.

The Midday Report host Stephen Grootes spoke to Urban food systems researcher Dr Jane Battersby of the University of Cape Town, who says supermarkets are cheaper but informal traders remains important as they meet the demands of the poor.

Small remains really important as sellers of bulk bread, where they will sell you one or half of a bread. They will sell you food on credit when you don’t have.

Dr Jane Battersby - University of Cape Town

This probe is about competition, but in the end the most important issue is whether poorer people can get cheap fresh food.

So, it appears the supermarkets are cheaper, but in many ways, the informal traders and small traders are much more aligned to needs of the communities.

Dr Jane Battersby - University of Cape Town

Listen to the whole interview here:

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