Background: There are a number of informal trading sites across cities in sub-Saharan Africa,of which the markets of Warwick is one example. Since the informal economy is an important contributor to a city’s economy as well as a source of employment, it is important for these sites to be accessible for all persons. Whilst the South African government has put structures in place to identify and remove environmental barriers in order to meet the individual needs of persons with mobility impairments and improve their quality of life, persons with mobility impairments still face barriers and restricting environments that prevent them from participating in society and its social and economic activities.
Objectives: This case study aimed at exploring accessibility within the markets of Warwick for persons with mobility impairments by an ergonomic assessment, augmented by voices of participants within the market.
Method: A qualitative, instrumental, single case study design was utilised with purposive sampling of the markets of Warwick as the study setting. Multiple sources of data were gathered, such as semi-structured interviews, direct observations of an environmental survey supported by photographs, and the authors’ review of relevant documents. Transcriptions were analysed using NVivo 10 software programme with inductive coding.
Results: Whilst policies have been in place since 1996 to adjust infrastructure, the markets of Warwick still remain inaccessible to persons with mobility impairments and do not meet the standardised infrastructural design.
Conclusion: The findings of this study may offer a significant understanding of the complexity of accessibility within an informal trading site and create an awareness of the limitations this has for persons with mobility impairments. Additionally, these findings may assist in effecting a positive change in terms of the infrastructure of the Markets and in continuous advocating for the rights of persons with all disabilities.