Sustainable livelihoods of township small, medium and micro enterprises towards growth and development

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27 Citations (Scopus)


In South Africa, small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) have been recognized as the critical driving force to alleviate some economic challenges that the country faces. The challenges, such as the alleviation of poverty and the unemployment rate, can be addressed by policies that encourage SMME developments and sustainability. The historical background of SMMEs in South Africa has left them operating in various locations, such as cities and townships. There is a growing concern of the lack of information and communications technology (ICT) adoption by SMMEs, in particular those operating in townships. The aim of this study was to develop an ICT adoption framework using the sustainability livelihood framework (SLF) to encourage ICT adoption and improve the livelihood of township SMMEs. This study used the sustainable livelihood framework (SLF) to explore the broader socio-economic contents of the township SMMEs on human, social, financial, and physical and natural resource-based assets that enable the poor to enhance their capabilities and reduce their vulnerabilities. This study deployed a qualitative exploratory research. A sample of 21 SMME owners/managers operating in Soweto was used, and data were collected using in-depth interviews and observations. The study revealed township SMMEs are complex and dynamic and need various interventions in order for them to be sustainable. The SLF for township SMMEs can be used as a guideline for SMME owners/managers and policy makers when formulating ICT adoption policy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3149
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Information communication technology (ICT)
  • South africa
  • Sustainability livelihood framework (SLF)
  • Sustainable livelihood approach (SLA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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