BORDER TRANSGRESSIONS AS A FORM OF SURVIVAL FOR THE DOWNTRODDEN ZIMBABWEANS: THE CASE OF BEITBRIDGE BORDER POST, 2000 – 2020
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The economic meltdown in Zimbabwe forced many people to engage in informal livelihood pursuits. This thesis documents the dynamics of informal cross-border trade and extends a justified contextualisation of this phenomenon by drawing upon government reports, news articles and previous literature. The study starts by tracing the socio-political and economic crisis that led to the proliferation of informal cross-border trade in Zimbabwe. The discussion is guided by the theoretical lens of the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach as a framework for analysis. The approach exposes the disconnect between informal cross-border trade as a livelihood strategy and its impacts on the common good for future generations. Its intrinsic individualistic tendencies are a detriment to sustainable development which is more concerned about socio-economic and environmental protection of the society. Although the efficacy of informal cross-border trade in maintaining livelihoods is apparent, its ability to preserve long-term growth at the state level remains doubtful.